About thirty enthusiastic volunteers —adults and children—showed up on the very overcast, chilly day Saturday, March 24 for the Annual Linear Park Cleanup Event in Raymore. Not only did they remove a total of 217 cubic feet of bagged trash, they also removed many large items such as jumper cables, wheel barrow, venetian blinds and 17 tires from the stream area, resulting in a much-improved habitat for the aquatic life and a cleaner more enjoyable area for all those using Linear Park trail as well as those passing by the area.
Volunteers also improved the health of the stream corridor by removing much highly invasive, exotic bush honeysuckle. This plant, used over decades as a landscaping ornamental, escaped cultivation (as have many, many other exotic species!) and severely degrades natural habitat by displacing native, spring-blooming and other native plants.
After the cleanup, volunteers participated in a stream monitoring demonstration led by Missouri Stream Teams coordinator Scott Sigman and learned how the presence or absence of “bug” species is an indicator of water quality. Many participated in searching for and identifying the tiny macro-invertebrates present in the net of materials dredged from the creek.
Plastic bottles, beverage cups, Styrofoam packing material, plastic bags, and food wrappers made up the bulk of the litter that was removed. We can all pitch in to avoid this unhealthy and unsightly accumulation of litter by recycling recyclable materials and properly disposing of waste—and by picking up litter wherever we encounter it. Other actions each of us can take to prevent trash in our streams include carrying reusable cups for beverages and reusable containers of water.
Before beginning the cleanup, volunteers enjoyed fresh hot coffee and donuts, and the hot dogs prepared by Raymore Parks & Recreation staff were a welcome treat waiting for them at the end of the cleanup.
This annual event is sponsored by the South Grand River Watershed Alliance, Raymore Parks & Recreation, Raymore Stormwater Management, Missouri Department of Conservation, and Missouri Stream Teams. Be sure to watch for the March 2019 Annual Linear Park Cleanup and make plans to take part.