DTE Energy, one of HRWC’s corporate partners, joined Ann Arbor’s Give 365 Volunteer and Outreach Program on Friday, June 8, to clean up trash found along the Huron River.

Volunteers from DTE Energy worked together to clean up the Huron River between Argo livery and Gallup livery.

Fifteen volunteers from DTE Energy split off into teams, hopped into canoes and paddled from Argo livery to Gallup livery with trash pickers in hand, searching and prodding for trash left behind in the river. The group started a friendly competition to see who could accumulate the most trash and collect the most interesting item. They pulled plenty of unusual litter from the river including a rusty shopping cart, four tennis balls, and an abandoned raft.

With guidance and supplies provided by Give 365 and boat rentals funded by a grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, groups of 6-20 people can participate in these three-hour paddles and cleanups from Argo livery to Gallup livery or a one to two-hour cleanup in the pond areas surrounding each livery. The outings are an enjoyable way for people to connect with each other and give back to the Huron River and Ann Arbor parks.

DTE Energy volunteers pulled a rusty shopping cart from the river, one of many unusual objects found on their trip.

“The Huron River cleanup was an excellent way to combine team building and volunteerism. We had a great time learning to navigate the river, helping each other spot trash before the current pushed us downstream, and safely removing the trash from the river,” explained Alexis Stanczuk, a senior business analyst at DTE Energy who participated in the river cleanup.

Give 365 provides many group opportunities to engage in volunteer projects in Ann Arbor including river cleanups, park cleanups and rain garden maintenance. To learn more about Give 365’s group volunteer projects and to get involved, click here.

River Cleanup Opportunities for You:

Hamburg Township Huron River Clean Up Day, Saturday, July 28.*

Ann Arbor Love the River Days, Monday, August 6.*

HRWC River Cleanup, Milford and Dexter, August 18*

*Requires advance registration.

Huron Clinton Metroparks also organizes group river cleanups. Contact Katie Kowalski, Volunteer Services Supervisor, katie.kowalski@metroparks.com or (810) 494-6020.

Want to organize your own cleanup? HRWC would love your help in planning, coordinating and promoting a volunteer cleanup event on the Huron River in your area. Contact Jason Frenzel, HRWC Stewardship Coordinator, jfrenzel@hrwc.org, (734) 769-5123 x 600.

-Karissa Brumley is our Marketing and Communications Intern this summer. She is majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Nonprofit Administration at Eastern Michigan University.