LIMA — Sue Graham was one of more than 200 people who came together Saturday to help clean up the banks of the Ottawa River in Lima.
“I’ve always wanted to do it. In the other years, I haven’t had the opportunity to do so,” Graham said.
The Ottawa River Clean-up is sponsored by the Lima-Allen County Neighborhoods In Partnership, the City of Lima, the Ottawa River Coalition and Wright Refuse.
This year, due to COVID-19, people had to pre-register and there was no lunch provided like in years past.
Operations were centered around the city garage on South Collett Street.
“We have some maps that let us see the area nearby with the river and we kind of coordinated where we had groups coming through. We sent them out to different sections of the river so we could cover as much area as possible,” said Haley Belisle, Watershed and Stormwater program coordinator for Allen Soil and Water Conservation District.
Jerry Bibler was happy to just help out.
“It went really well. I liked that little grabber where you can reach back there and don’t get into the poison ivy or anything,” Bibler said. It was good today and people passed me and people came behind me and we got a good pickup out there. I just hate litter and I really wish it wouldn’t happen but in a week’s time we could probably do this again.”
Joe Covay went out with his sons Garrett and Wyatt Beck to help clean up the Ottawa River.
“We’re here as part of the Boy Scout program. Wyatt just became a Boy Scout and Garrett’s part of the Cub Scout program with Troop 777 at Shawnee Alliance Church,” Covay said. “I think it’s great. It really helps out and gets it cleaned up and keeps it beautiful.”
“It’s fun and helps the environment,” Wyatt Beck said.
People were excited to get out and clean up the river.
“It’s just amazing to see how much love and pride that people have for our city,” said Jessie Roark, president of Lima Allen County Neighborhoods In Partnership. “We learned as children, that our garbage goes from our roads to our streams to our ocean and it’s important that we keep our river flowing. That garbage impacts it and we can have a backup of water and then many more problems.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.