Volunteers come together for 32nd annual Rogue River Clean-Up

MERLIN, Ore.- Volunteers came together for the 32nd annual Rogue River Clean-Up the morning of May 18.

According to Amie Siedlecki, the Natural Resources Coordinator for the Rogue Valley Council of Governments, this is her fifth year coordinating the Rogue River clean up. She says for her, it’s personal.

“I’ve always wanted to participate in this event,” Siedlecki said. “Growing up, it was just something that I really wanted to go out and do, but when I got into high school, I was working on the weekends, so I could never join it with the rest of my family.”

Siedlecki says volunteers got to choose if they wanted to pick up trash, pull noxious weeds, or even be on the water on rafts. Though they don’t know how much trash they hauled in total, Siedlecki says several bags of noxious weeds were collected.

“I think that’s kind of the biggest focus today is taking care of those weeds and getting them out of here,” Siedlecki said.

Siedlecki says they had three teams on the water from Hog Creek to Galice. One of those boat volunteers was George Allen-Griffin, who participated for a third year in a row. He says his group pulled out four bags worth of garbage and even a lawn chair from the river.

“This year, the trash, there wasn’t as much trash and I feel like because of the last three years, we’ve had really big turnouts and it’s making a big difference,” Allen-Griffin said.

Siedlecki says they originally had 121 sign-ups, but with walk-ins, there were around 150 volunteers in total. She says it’s clear that the Rogue River is a huge asset to the valley.

“It’s really special to us to come out and make sure that it’s clean and noxious weeds are taken care of and we’re just stewarding it for future generations to come,” Siedlecki said.

Siedlecki says they’ll know how much garbage they hauled this year early next week.

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NBC5 News Reporter Lauren Pretto grew up in Livermore, California and attended University of California, Santa Cruz, graduating with a double major in Film/Digital Media and Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. Lauren is a lover of books, especially Agatha Christie and Gothic novels. When her nose isn't buried in a book, she knits, bakes, and writes.
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