Cedar River Festival Group holds 26th River Clean Up - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar River Festival Group holds 26th River Clean Up

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Volunteers will be taking to the water Saturday morning to help in the 26th annual Cedar River Clean Up.

The Cedar River Festival Group is working on a new stretch of the river this year in the southern part of Black Hawk County. Volunteers will meet at the Mt. Auburn bridge access in Benton County then take buses to Carline Park, where the clean up will start. The route from McFarlane Park to the Mt. Auburn bridge is roughly six river miles.

Cedar River Festival Group President Rebecca Kauten said over the past five years, the group has focused on expanding its clean ups along the river. For 15 to 20 years, the organization only paid attention to the river in the Cedar Valley. But since its not city or county-specific, Kauten said she wanted to clean as many locations along the river as possible.

During clean ups, volunteers will find trash such as metal, barbed wire, tires and rusty barrels. The group even found four meth labs in its cleaning last year.

Kauten said she's never had to hire participants, as the organization is entirely volunteer-based.

"We don't have paid staff, we're not organized through any other organization. Being able to do this for a quarter of a century is an accomplishment in its own right too."

Over the 26 years that the festival group has been in operation, it's recovered about 100 tons of trash from the Cedar River. After this weekend, the only portion of the river that the group hasn't cleaned yet will be between Gilbertville and LaPorte City.

Volunteers are asked to meet at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Mt. Auburn bridge access. The group will provide canoes, paddles and life jackets for those volunteering.



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