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10th Annual Cannon River Watershed-Wide CleanUP a rousing success

Part of the Cannon River Watershed-Wide CleanUP Crew who worked at Riverside Park in Cannon Falls on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Saffron Emerson

By Kevin Strauss, Cannon River Watershed Partnership

The weather was warm and clear as over 200 volunteers came out at nine sites in southeastern Minnesota to clean up the Cannon River, the Straight River and area lakes. The 10th annual Cannon River Watershed-Wide CleanUP removed tons of litter from area rivers and lakes.

"Community leaders joined their friends and neighbors at the CleanUP on Saturday morning, proving that taking action for clean water is something we all value," said Cannon River Watershed Partnership (CRWP) Executive Director Kristi Pursell. "Cleaning up trash can be fun when you come together around our beloved waterways for a common goal. People power can make a difference!"

In Cannon Falls, a dozen volunteers from a local Girl Scout troop and a workplace team from Henkel collected 10 bags of litter from the Cannon and Little Cannon Rivers at Riverside Park in Cannon Falls. One family brought their own canoe and paddled up and down the Little Cannon River collecting trash. The oddest thing the group found in Cannon Falls was a huge yellow tarp and the sole of a tennis shoe.

In Welch, a crew of 4-H volunteers paddled canoes down the Cannon River to collect litter.

The Cannon River Watershed Partnership, a community clean water nonprofit group organizes this event and supports local CleanUPs in Owatonna, Faribault, Waterville, Northfield, Shields Lake, Cannon Falls and Welch the third Saturday in September every year. While CRWP staff are still collecting data on the number of pounds of litter collected across the region, over the past nine years, over 2,000 community members have removed over 140,000 pounds of litter, fishing line, fence pieces and car parts out of area waterways. For more information about CRWP and their clean water projects, visit