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Williamston, Haslett and East Lansing rotaries partner to keep Red Cedar River clean

Red Cedar River cleaners
Posted at 10:17 AM, Nov 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-07 11:09:40-05

WILLIAMSTON, Mich. — On the banks of the Red Cedar in Williamston, sits a new kayak launch and a boat rack made by Isaac Holden as part of his Eagle Scout project.

“He was kind of like the project manager and worked with the different kids that showed up, and they put it all together and got it built,” said Girl's Troop Scoutmaster Heidi Holden.

With a goal of making it a destination for the community.

“Let's do something about the river," said Williamston Sunrise Rotary President Laska Creagh. "Let's make it a place where people can go to, and they don't have to drive up north to go to let's make it a usable river.”

However, floating trash and log jams in the river blocked parts of the areas needed for recreational use.

“All these things were kind of tying together to try to improve accessibility and usage of the community of this portion of the Red Cedar," said Boy Scouts Troop Assistant Scoutmaster Christopher Abraham.

Until Creagh got an idea to partner with East Lansing and Haslett rotaries to clean up the river.

“I said, 'Hey, we're thinking about having an effort to get the river really usable, getting rid of the log jams cleaning up the sides, making it a destination spot here,'" Creagh said. "Do you want to partner and we can move it all along through to Michigan State?”

And the idea took off from there.

“Monthly during the summer months, we would to send a crew up this portion of the river," Abraham said. "It's about three and a half miles upstream from here to the road bridge and then back again, and just ensure that it would that again, that's being kept clean.”

And the first times they hit the river, they came away with several items and debris that shouldn't be in a river.

“I think the community does a pretty good job of taking care of their river, we have not found large volumes of trash and litter and stuff like that in the river, which is really nice,” said Boy Scouts Troop Scoutmaster Gust Annis. “We certainly do find some there's strange things like kick balls, volleyballs, trash cans, bottles and certainly litter.”

While the community gets to benefit from a clean river, the scouts get to benefit in more ways than one.

“It's a perfect thing to do," Annis said. "It's here local in our community. It's kind of fun because you're getting to go out on a roll on the water and canoes and see wildlife as you're, you're kind of doing a service project for your community.”

They've been working hard to keep the river consistently clean for all to enjoy.

“That's what we want it that's what the whole efforts about getting people to use the river getting outside, recreating, enjoying it and and then any benefits to the community,” Creagh said.

They're continuing to add new elements along the river like kiosks.

“We're working on all the information that needs to be there," Creagh said. "There's fluid information, sorry for the pun, that refers to the speed of the river, any hazards in the river, any if the water is too high, and it's dangerous, along with a lot of other information, but it also will have a map of the river and where the put ends or takeouts are so that people can judge how far they want to go on their on their kayak or canoe trip that day.”

Creagh said they're finished cleaning the river for the season unless necessary and only remove debris and trash not natural habitats.

If you're interested in getting involved, Creagh said to reach out to your local rotary club.

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Mikayla Temple

Mikayla Temple

1:39 PM, Jan 05, 2021

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Mikayla Temple

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