SIDNEY — Volunteers will converge at Custenborder Shelter Friday, July 19, to help clean the Great Miami River between the Shelby-Logan County Line and Roadside Park, part of a larger operation extending from the Ohio River to Indian Lake.
The Great Miami Clean Sweep started in 1986 as numerous separate groups dedicated cleaning the trash from the river. In 2004, the groups banded together to coordinate an organized sweep along the length of the river that’s been taking place every year since.
Brent Bruggeman is the coordinator of Shelby County’s portion of the river. He’s been involved in the operation for 11 years. The Shelby County portion of the river is divided into several sections with individual directors to keep everything organized. Participants paddle down their sections of the river picking up trash in canoes provided by the organizers. The collected waste is then taken away by the Street Department and the volunteers meet back at Custenborder for lunch. In past sweeps, volunteers have found everything from tires, to lawnmowers, to part of a 3000-year-old human skull.
“It’s hard work, but it’s a lot of fun,” Bruggeman said. The Great Miami River Clean Sweep is funded through private donations, with Cargill being Shelby County’s primary donor. Each section is also funded by smaller, local sponsors.
Anyone interested in participating in the 2019 Great Miami River Clean Sweep can find more information at www.cleansweepofthegreatmiamiriver.org or register by contacting Brent Bruggeman at email@example.com
The writer is a summer intern for the Sidney Daily News.