Our annual cleanup of the Chena River through town is scheduled for Wednesday, July 21 this year. Graehl Landing has a parking problem because of construction on the nearby Wendell Street bridge. It also has an access problem because of construction on the Old Steese Highway and 3rd Street. So this year our starting point will be the boat landing area of Pioneer Park, off Peger Road just south of the bridge. From there we will proceed down to Pike’s Landing (the restaurant/bar–not the road).

We will meet at Pioneer Park at 5:30 p.m., set shuttle to Pike’s Landing, and plan on launching from Pioneer Park promptly at 6:00.  Once on the water people travel more or less at their own pace, stopping to pick up trash on the riverbanks. Parts of the river are lined with homes, and we will probably not want to trespass on those places. Usually, we will finish up and have everybody out of the water by 9:00 or 10:00.

Cleaning up the Chena River is one of the contributions our club makes to the community of Fairbanks, and is also a commitment we have made to the  Adopt-a-Stream program of the Tanana Valley Watershed Association.  For this activity we are recognized by two nice signs placed by the TVWA near the river at Graehl and Pioneer Park.  Our cleanup is also registered with the American Rivers National River Cleanup campaign.

Trash bags will be provided.  Participants should bring mud boots, raincoat, gloves, warm clothes, extra clothes, mosquito repellent, drinking water and something to snack on as well as some sort of craft to paddle.  Don’t forget your life-jacket!

We will attempt to separate out clean aluminum in separate bags for recycling. We need to take the trash directly to the dump (as opposed to sticking it in dumpsters) so that the Borough can keep track of the volunteer cleanup effort and so that we can report our haul to American Rivers.  My truck will be available for stuffing full of trash at the take-out.

Our cleanup effort will not be insured by ACA and current membership in Fairbanks Paddlers is not required. All you need is a boat and a life jacket, and a willingness to pick up trash.

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