Spring clean-up kicks into gear along Cedar Valley Trails - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Spring clean-up kicks into gear along Cedar Valley Trails

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Many organizations in the Cedar Valley are working to ensure area trails are safe, and clean, before the outdoor recreation season gets into full swing. The Black Hawk County Conservation Board is replacing two bridges washed out by the floods of 2008, and crews continue construction on trails along the Cedar River in downtown Waterloo.

Many of the smaller projects depend on help from volunteers, dozens of whom endured wind, rain, and even a little snow for the 2011 Trails Clean-Up Day.

"Today was kind of unusual, woke up with snow, cold, and rain," said volunteer and RAGBRAI Coordinator Clint Stanbrook.

Stanbrook was working with a crew from the Cedar Valley Cyclists. The Cedar Trails Partnership also organizes the annual event, and receives help from the Cedar Falls Jaycees.

"The worst part for us is the ditches, the ditches are full of water," Stanbrook noted.

But the Cedar Valley Cyclists are staying upbeat as they clean the debris along the Sergeant Road Trail.

"We work with the parks. Because we know they don't have any money," said Stanbrook.

There are fewer volunteers out here than usual for the annual Trail Clean-Up Day, you can blame the weather for that one. But the amount of garbage they find does not change from year to year. And frankly, after five years of picking through the same terrain, it gets frustrating.

"It's hard to believe every year we can come and clean this area. But, it being by the highway, you're going to have quite a lot of it," Stanbrook said.

When they're done, the Cedar Valley Cyclists have at least two truckloads of trash. Combine that with the half-dozen other groups doing the same thing along trails in Waterloo and Cedar Falls, and you can imagine how much junk has accumulated over the winter. While the volunteers don't want to pick up trash any more than others would, they're willing to slosh around in the muck if it means a better summer for the community.

"We have to keep the parks going for our future generations," Stanbrook added.

Unfortunately, even Stanbrook said it's too cold out there for him to ride right now. But once it does warm up you can explore the different routes, click here for the Trail Map.

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