In May, more than 350 volunteers collected over 700 pounds of garbage and 150 pounds of recyclables from the Fox River. Local residents Fran Caffee and Cindy Skrukrud, both Sierra Club Water Sentinels, organized the massive clean-ups along the river, a tributary of the Illinois River: Two in Aurora, Illinois' second-largest city, and one in Elgin, about 25 miles to the north.
“Clean riverbanks do not mean clean water,” says Fran, “despite all the trash we collect!” Water Sentinels team members have also been testing the river’s water quality since 1995 for nutrients, phosphorus, and nitrogen to monitor the long-term health of the river. They share the data with the Club’s chapter volunteers and staff working on nutrient standards for rivers and ponds.
With a new, local kayak and canoe rental shop in town, as well as the River’s Edge Park running alongside its banks, the Fox River is a resource on many fronts. Clean water is important for the environment and human health and it is also beneficial for the local economy. Thanks to Sierra Club’s Valley of the Fox Group and Illinois Water Sentinels’ annual clean-up efforts, the river quality is improving, bettering the community.
Read more about it at The Beacon News.
(Photo: Volunteers display their trash collection from the Fox River clean-up.)