Crooked River Clean Up removes an estimated five tons of trash from Cuyahoga River

Darian Thomas

Volunteers donated their time to the Crooked River Clean Up Saturday in an effort to remove trash from the Cuyahoga River.

Chris Hendricks, manager of Crooked River Adventures, was in charge of the clean up. This is the second year for the event.

“This is my first time coordinating the Crooked River Clean Up,” Hendricks said. “It was definitely a great learning experience for me.”

The event started in Kent at Tannery Park and ended in Brust Park in Munroe Falls. Volunteers paddled four-and-a-half miles down the Cuyahoga River in kayaks collecting trash. A second group left from Brust Park and paddled two miles down the river to Waterworks Park in Cuyahoga Falls.

Approximately 60 to 70 volunteers helped collect trash along the river in kayaks and on foot.

The groups collected an estimated five tons worth of trash Hendricks said.

“I collected three garbage bags full of trash myself,” said Megan Petroski, a graduate assistant at the office of sustainability. “People don’t know how beautiful the river is because it keeps getting polluted with trash.”

River cleanup video

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Trash like car and tractor tires, polar pop cups, bottles, cans and motorcycle seats were removed from the river.

“I think we collected about 10 to 15 tires,” said Peter Euclide, a junior biology major. “It was just amazing to see how much trash there actually was along the river, and people need to stop throwing so many polar pop cups away.”

This year was a little different from last year. Volunteers in kayaks pulled boats behind them to put the trash in.

The low water level of the river made it difficult for the trash boats because they had to be picked up and carried in the low spots of the river Hendricks said.

Sydney Trask, a junior psychology major, said she had a really fun time, even though some of it was gross.

“This trip was really rewarding and fun for me because at some points I got to just relax and paddle down the river,” Trask said. “I definitely learned that littering is a lot bigger of an issue than I had thought it was.”

Hendricks plans on holding the event again next year and already has some ideas on how to make it better.

“Instead of having just two groups, I’m going to try and make three groups because some people were exhausted after paddling for four miles,” Hendricks said. “Everyone was still smiling though and it ended up being a great bonding experience for everyone.”

Contact Darian Thomas at [email protected].