UPDATE: Weather forces KRLT to postpone Kinni Cleanup
The Kinnickinnic River Land Trust announced the morning of Friday, April 19, that due to the weather, it has postponed the annual cleanup event scheduled for Saturday, April 20. The tentative new date is Saturday, April 27.
KRLT notified via e-mail all those registered for the cleanup but asks for people to spread the word about the cancellation. The notification says, "Due to the amount of snow and deteriorating river conditions, the decision has been made to postpone the Kinni River Clean Up for this Saturday."
Those registered for for the cleanup will receive more details once they are confirmed.
Original Story: Garbage gatherers unite for Kinni spring cleaning; happy birthday, KRLT
Most who volunteer for the annual Kinnickinnic River stewardship event say the spring cleaning event proves more fun than most of the season's chores.
The River Falls-based Kinnickinnic River Land Trust helps protect and conserve the beloved high-quality spring-fed trout stream that flows through the heart of downtown River Falls as well as much of its rural area.
KRLT invites all interested garbage-gathering river stewards to join the 2013 cleanup efforts at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 20, near the Glen Park tennis courts.
KRLT dispatches volunteers from the park with trash bags and maps, to their assigned section of the river, where they pick up or float out anything that doesn't belong.
Items removed in past years include plastic, tin, paper and various other small trash, as well as bigger items such as bicycles, grocery carts, Styrofoam blocks and big barrels.
KRLT Director Dave Fodrozci said River Falls Tire donates disposal of the tires, which numbered 80 last year. The most unusual item plucked from the river in 2012 was likely a gas mask.
Fodrozci said about 130 volunteers reported to Glen Park in 2012.
"This is a wonderful way to explore the Kinni while collecting trash along its banks -- making a difference in the health of the river," he said.
Small helpers come with parents. Members come with a group. Some river helpers bring kayaks and canoes to comb the entire length of the Kinni or their waders to walk into it.
Fodrozci said Kinni Creek Outfitters agreed to loan KRLT kayaks for individuals willing to get on the water but don't have the vessel to do so.
KRLT asks for volunteers to register by Friday, April 19, for the event so that it can plan for assignments and food.
Interested volunteers can register online at www.kinniriver.org, click on the Kinni River Cleanup under events schedule, click the word pre-registration, click 'add to cart,' click checkout.
Volunteers also must sign and submit a liability waiver and photo release before participating.
Fodrozci reminds Kinni River Cleanup volunteers to wear work gloves and boots with long pants and sleeves to protect against sunburn, biting insects, poisonous plants and scratches. KRLT staff also recommends bringing a hat, sunglasses and plenty of water.
The event happens rain or shine. Hardy helpers are treated to a lunch of burgers and beverages 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. compliments of the West Wind Supper Club, the local Rotary Club and Viking Coca-Cola.
KRLT turns 20
As the river cleanup event hits its 19th birthday, KRLT celebrates its 20th birthday.
Through its website, the land trust asks for people to submit their Kinni River stories -- tall fish tales, canoe or kayak chronicles or fond memories -- to firstname.lastname@example.org.
KRLT plans to share some of the stories throughout its anniversary year on its website and in its newsletter, "The Kinni Keeper."
Fodrozci said the concept of a land trust started with discussions among lower-Kinnickinnic canyon landowners in the mid-1980s. Founders formed a steering committee and board of directors and established the land trust in 1993.
Those people include: Ray Anderson, Phil Betzel, Barbara Butler, Pat Casanova, Robert Chambers, Judy Edgar, Greg Erickson, Susan Goode, Sheila Harsdorf, Skip James, Doug Johnson, Art Kaemmer, Rita Kozak, Vern Kusilek, Richard and Finette Magnuson, Paddy McNeely, Mike Miller, Mike Most, Virgil Nylander, Keith Rodli, Angie Tornes and Dan Wilcox.
The group's mission: "To conserve, preserve and protect the natural resources and scenic beauty of the lower Kinnickinnic River valley for the benefit of the general public by promoting and advocating stewardship of the Kinnickinnic watershed and acquiring property for conservation purposes."
KRLT accepted its first donations of land-conservation easements in 1995, covering 90 acres. Since then and thanks to other land owners, KRLT has facilitated the permanent protection of more than 2,800 acres of land and nine miles of riverbank.
A recent example is an easement on the school-forest land belonging to the River Falls School District, which protects 55 acres and 5,500 feet of Kinni River bank.
Other projects contributing to the collective protection include acquisition through grants of 312 acres of land along Quarry Road in 2010; the discounted sale of 158 acres by the Manion family in 2009; and the acquisition from the Nagel family of 204 acres at the headwaters of the Kinni River in New Richmond during 2009.
Many other deals, grants, gifts and general support enable KRLT to protect the land, much of which is open to the public for hiking, canoeing, bird watching...
Fodrozci said he welcomes new members and appreciates any gifts of cash, time, land or talent to further its mission. He said the land trust's wish list also includes bookshelves, a chainsaw and a laser printer.
Learn more about KRLT at its website: www.kinniriver.org, those interested can download the 2012 annual report and make note of the June 1 annual meeting open to everyone.