WMEAC to host weeklong Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup

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WMEAC said it will host the 17th annual volunteer-based event from Sept. 12-19. Courtesy Megan Steenwyk

The West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) will host the annual Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup next month, turning it into a weeklong event to respect COVID-19 social distancing measures.

WMEAC said it will host the 17th annual volunteer-based event from Sept. 12-19.

Event details and registration information are available at wmeac.org/mayorscleanup. Online registration, which is required to receive cleanup supplies, closes Sept. 16.

“As life becomes increasingly virtual in the midst of this pandemic, WMEAC is providing an opportunity to make a very real, concrete difference,” the nonprofit said. “Our streets and sidewalks accumulate litter that will be washed away into drains and waterways if we don’t stop it. In urban areas around the Grand River, the first flush of pollution after a rainstorm can take less than 15 minutes to reach the water. Taking action to remove the trash within your community will ensure a swimmable, drinkable and fishable future for the waters we all share.”

Free disposable gloves and bags will be provided during the campaign to all registered volunteers within the communities of Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kentwood, Walker and Wyoming.

WMEAC asks all volunteers to respect social distancing measures while participating and follow the procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for COVID-19. In accordance with these procedures, there will be no centralized trash drop-off location. Volunteers will be asked to use the Clean Swell mobile app to keep track of their impact. WMEAC asks participants to forward their results to mayorscleanup@wmeac.org or share their impact using #MayorsCleanup2020 on social media.

Due to the socially distant nature of this year’s cleanup, volunteers are asked to participate “in place” by focusing on their neighborhood’s streets and storm drains, local tributaries and parks.

Those unsure where to clean up can visit the Stream Site Map at bit.ly/MGRC2020 for an inventory of publicly accessible sites to access the Grand River and its tributaries.

If anyone knows of an area contaminated with litter, WMEAC asks they submit details to khart@wmeac.org to have the location highlighted on the map to recruit help from volunteers.

The 17th annual Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup is sponsored by Fusion Financial, Rhoades McKee, Mark Huizenga Systems Consulting, Key Green Solutions, Schrem’s Trout Unlimited, Grand Valley State University, Covanta, GMB AE, Grand Rapids Public Museum, West Michigan Chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association, and the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum.

WMEAC

Founded in 1968, the West Michigan Environmental Action Council is a nonprofit that provides environmental education and advocacy.

It focuses on building sustainable communities and protecting water resources.

WMEAC’s service area includes Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo and Ottawa counties, with primary emphasis on the Grand Rapids, Holland and Muskegon areas.

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