Cleaning up community one stream at a time

September 9, 2009 | Events
By Emily Hickey

Ever notice the debris along the Ottawa River that runs through UT’s Main Campus?

clean-your-streams-logoOn Saturday, Sept. 12, volunteer a few hours and become part of the solution at the 2009 Clean Your Streams event, which includes a kickoff location starting at 8 a.m. outside Carlson Library. The University is a partner for the community-wide event, which will have more than 700 volunteers and more than 30 cleanup sites in the Toledo area.

“Over 190 volunteers registered at the UT site for the Clean Your Streams event on Sept 13, 2008, in the pouring rain,” Dr. Patrick Lawrence, UT associate professor of geography and planning and chair of the President’s Commission on the River, said. “And more than 50 large bags of garbage and several large items were removed from the river on campus.”

Light bulbs, tents, grills, CD players, a car door and a 50-inch TV were among the items found last year by 760 volunteers who scoured the banks of area waterways.

Clean Your Streams is part of the Ohio Coast Weeks Program and the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup Event. In Toledo, the event is organized by Partners for Clean Streams.

Volunteers may check in at 8 a.m. at any of the following locations:

• Upper Ottawa River — Olander Park Shelter House, 6360 Sylvania Ave., Sylvania;

• Middle Ottawa River — UT Carlson Library on Main Campus;

• Middle Ottawa River — St. Francis High School, 2323 W. Bancroft St., Toledo;

• Lower Ottawa River — Washington Township Fire Station, 2469 Shoreland Ave., Toledo;

• Swan Creek — Swan Creek Watershed, 1865 Finch St., Toledo;

• Lower Maumee River — International Park, 26 Main St., Toledo;

• Lake Erie Tributary and Middle Maumee River — Lake Township Friendship Park, 27975 Cummings Road, Millbury; and

• Maumee Bay Tributary and Lower Maumee River — Oregon Municipal Building, 5330 Seaman Road, Oregon.

Clean up will begin promptly at 9 a.m. For more information and to register groups, go to

Lawrence stressed Clean Your Streams is a great opportunity for students involved in a fraternity or sorority to gain philanthropy hours.

Can’t make the Clean Your Streams event? Not to worry, there are a couple events organized by the President’s Commission on the River planned for the 2009 Celebrate Our River Week.

Join the University of Michigan Arts on Earth Program for a Mapping the River presentation Wednesday, Sept. 9, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Student Union Room 2582.

Or meet on the north side of the Center for Performing Arts to celebrate the planting of its rain garden Thursday, Sept. 10, from 4 to 6 p.m.

For more information on Celebrate Our River Week, contact Lawrence at or 419.530.4128.

Click to access the login or register cheese