Volunteers clean up shore of Grand River

A farm rake and a few dozen tires were among the garbage picked up during the Grand River Greenup this morning in northwest Ottawa County.
Becky Vargo
Jun 2, 2013


The event is organized by the West Michigan Environmental Action Council and the Grand Haven Area Jaycees.

Brock Rodgers, coordinator for the event with the Jaycees, said there was also a lot of cigarette butts, packaging, plastics and water bottles collected along the waterways.

Almost 300 volunteers spread out to 23 pre-selected sites 

"I found a bottle cap," exlaimed 6-year-old Rebecca Hornacek, as she walked along the South Channel of the Grand River on Harbor Island with her mother, Rori Hornacek.

"I found a lighter, said her friend, Hunter Hodge, 9, who was escorted by Annie Nurski.

Volunteers at Riverside Park in Robinson Township already had a pile of tires early in the game.

Piles of garbage bags and trash lined along the roads in the Harbor Island area will be picked up by the City of Grand Haven on Monday, Rodgers said.

Read more of this story in Monday's print or electronic edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



While today was my first time as a participant in the river clean up, and am glad that so many showed up to help, I'm very disappointed that it couldn't have been better organized in such a way as to have the garbage bags picked up shortly after the participants were picked up in the provided buses. Surely a few pickup trucks could have driven to the collection spots immediately after the clean up and collected the bags. Instead, now, the untied bags of garbage will sit along the streets until sometime monday before being picked up, running the risk of making an even bigger mess if they are opened and spread about the streets by winds, animals or anyone or anything else, not to mention being an eyesore. With this being one of the first nice weekends of the "summer" season, I find it disappointing that visitors to Mill Point in Spring Lake and other places are "welcomed" by the pile of garbage bags left at the corner on Exchange St. and other places until Monday. Cleaning up the river is a commendable project, but PLEASE organizers: next time, finish the job in the same day and remove what's collected to an appropriate place, rather than leaving the garbage to blow around over the weekend, needing to be recollected by others which nearly defeats the purpose. Thanks.


You could have volunteered to spend your weekend picking up the bags of trash and carry them to a location acceptable to you. It's never enough for some people...


this was also my first time (and most likely my last) participating in the river clean up but I thought I would give it a try to see what it was all about. the most disappointing thing about the experience in my opinion is the comment about the placement of the trash bags being an eyesore and finishing the job in one day. aside from the fact that the trash laying all over the ground before being picked up was just as much as an eyesore (as well as a significant hazard to people and wildlife) I feel that the placement of the trash bags was an ideal location. maybe if everybody who drove down exchange st. this "summer" season, and was "welcomed" by a pile of garbage, they would see that its going to take a lot more than a few hundred people and a lot more than one day to finish a mess of a job that has taken years to create. anybody who was really out there cleaning up could see that there were more pieces of broken glass out there than there are people in the tri cities area. so if anybody really cares about environmental clean up I would advise getting out there and picking up garbage on your own and taking care of it yourself rather than complaining that nobody else has picked it all up. Thanks ;)


Many thanks to both of you for your time, energy, and good work.


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