River Cleanup Yields Treasure Trove Of Trash
NNA volunteers give back to the Mighty Muskegon
By Scott Faulkner
Dozens of perfectly good fishing lures. Miles of monofilament line. Bags of disgusting plastic debris of questionable origin. But the grand prize?
How about a half buried truck tire with the rim still mounted?!!
Such are the prized treasures of a spirited Muskegon River cleanup that occurred on Saturday May 20, sponsored by the Newaygo Nationals Association (NNA), a local non-profit more commonly known for their...
...outdoor adventures like Power Paddle and 2DamTuff that occur in River Country in Summer and early Fall.
“We are grateful for the participation of area and even out of area residents, as well as our generous sponsors this year: The River Stop Café, Newaygo Brewing Company, Wisner Rents Canoes, and the Fremont Area Community Foundation made it happen today for our beautiful river,” said Gabe Slominski, Chairman of NNA. “We removed hundreds of pounds of debris to get the river ready for the Memorial Day rush.
Like the broad variety of debris removed, there were as many reasons for helping as there were volunteers.
“We came from Big Rapids to help out this morning, because we take a lot of steelhead out of the river, so we thought we would give something back”, stated Alex Dove, who brought his friend Bill along. Lisa attended because she moved to the area last year and lives on the Muskegon, and wanted to meet some new people “who are into things like this”. Sandy Williams and Bill Miller, longtime residents of the City of Newaygo, love to volunteer at all kinds of events.
NNA’s next event is the MCRA Power Paddle the weekend of June 10 and 11. This will be the 10th annual Power Paddle event that brings hundreds of serious paddlers from a five state area to compete in the two day event, which starts in duChemin Park in Croton and ends in Henning Park in Newaygo.
“Newaygo Nationals is excited to see our event base and community support continue to grow over the years. We are also pleased to be working on and expanding our headquarters in Croton this year, which will allow us to support events like today’s even better in years to come” said Slominski. “This year, we will be adding a Kid’s Adventure Camp to our roster- more to come on that through N3 and Facebook.”
NNA has been providing an array of interesting outdoor events and environmental support activities since 2006, and has hosted two international events, “Newaygo Nationals”, In 2011 and again in 2013, which put the Muskegon River on the map for the paddling community. Seven countries all the Canadian Provinces, and twenty-six States were represented in 2013, with paddlers coming as far away as Bulgaria and New Zealand to compete.
For more information, find Newaygo Nationals Association on Facebook.