Anoka Rotary cleans up for cleaner water

The Anoka Rotary Chapter rallied local community members last weekend in their first Community Clean-Up for Water Quality in Penninsula Park.  Members of the Anoka Rotary Club were joined by the Anoka Lions Club, students and faculty from Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Anoka High School and a local Boy Scout troop to sweep fallen leaves out of streets, parking lots and storm drains.

Anoka rotary collects leaves
Rotary volunteers collect leaves

Ace Solid Waste contributed a roll-off dumpster to collect the leaves and debris, and Steve’s Lawn Care donated a lawn vacuum and an additional truck to carry the leaves to a composting facility.

The event was the latest in a series of clean-ups this fall sponsored through a partnership between the Freshwater Society and Friends of the Minnesota Valley.  The Anoka Rotary chapter joined a growing number of citizen groups engaged in direct action to protect Minnesota’s water resources.  Biology professor Melanie Waite-Altringer said, “I LOVED being a part of this and so did my students.”

The clean-ups focus on cleaning up organic debris like leaves and grass from streets, storm drains, boulevards, parking lots and public areas, and taking the debris to a local composting facility.  Organic materials contain high levels of phosphorus, one of the primary sources of pollution that turn Minnesota’s lakes and rivers green with algae.

The Anoka Rotary Clean-Up gathered up 2.5 tons of organic material.  Organizer Gary Campbell said, “It was a fabulous day and a job that needed to be done. Many people asked when we would be doing this again.”

Learn more about Community Clean-Ups for Water Quality coming up in spring of 2012.

(This post was updated on Aug. 2, 2013)