Volunteers pitch in for river cleanup
Tri-County Times -Published: Friday, June 25, 2010 5:25 PM EDT
Linden — Nearly 50 volunteers, from age 7 to 70-plus, were part of the recent
Linden/Argentine Shiawassee River cleanup on Saturday, June 19.
It was an early start for the cooks, Teresa Ciesielski, Laura Capua, Tom Brooks
and Tom Hallman, all from Argentine Township. They arrived at the fire hall by
6:30 a.m. to brew coffee and cook a pancake and sausage breakfast for the volunteers.
Volunteers brought chainsaws and hand tools to clear a path through fallen trees
from downtown Linden to Bird Road in Argentine Township.
Doug and Kristy Fairbanks of Fairbanks Canoes and Kayaks brought six canoes
and one kayak to help transport people, carry equipment and haul trash plucked up
from the riverbanks and bottom.
Tom and Kim Kimble, with Ann Kuehn, cut a passage through two downed trees
between Rolston and Hogan roads.
Tom and Cheryl Rex headed another group, from McCaslin Lake Road
to Bird Road in Argentine Township. Their crew was able to cut chunks large
enough for canoes to pass through out of five trees, but had to leave six or
more giants that were too big for their equipment.
A third crew, the Men’s Group from Hope Lutheran Church in Argentine Township,
cleared the river from Hogan Road to the Steibel farm, across from Linden High School.
Dale Kuehn, group leader, was ready to attack one remaining tree on Sunday,
but when he and his wife, Ann, returned to the river, someone else had already cut a gap in the log.
While saws were buzzing in different areas of the river, another couple dozen people,
including Linden Mayor David Lossing and his wife, Suzanne, were walking the roadways
and river picking up trash. In addition to bags of litter and building supplies,
a battered green recliner was removed from the McCaslin Lake Road launch site.
More bags of trash, tires, plastic and glass containers, a plastic rocking horse
and more were removed from the water downstream from Linden.
Steve Mammel, from Linden’s Green Team, son Nick and teammates,
Lisa and Cory Brazzil and John Hohman tore apart a logjam that challenged recent paddlers.
Volunteers also found two old metal signs covered in zebra mussels, an invasive species
that negatively affects the health of the river.
The day ended with a pizza lunch hosted by Jill Flewelling and assisted by the
Loose Senior Citizen Center Angels, at Linden Academy of Dance and Music.
Volunteers, wet, muddy and hungry, trickled in.
Though tired, they talked about wanting to come back to “finish the job.”
The six or more trees between McCaslin Lake Road and Bird Road will
need large, long-bladed chain saws.
From there, it is on to Byron.
When complete, 30-plus miles of the Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail
will be open for paddlers from the trailhead at Holly’s Waterworks Park
in Oakland County to the Byron Mill Pond in Shiawassee County.