A cleanup of the Umatilla River Parkway and riverbank through Pendleton on Aug. 5 netted 480 pounds of trash plus half a dozen bags of recyclable bottles and cans.
More than 60 people came out for the event, organized by the Stewards of the Umatilla River Environment (S.U.R.E.), an organization dedicated to enhancing the riparian environment along the parkway.
Among some of the more unusual items found that day were the bumper of a car, carpeting, a square nail, a toy canoe and a purple water pistol. Also, two mangled, algae-filled grocery carts were pulled out from below the Bedford Bridge.
Wildlife spotted along the river that morning included a green racer snake, mink, great blue heron, osprey, yellow warbler, belted kingfisher, brewers blackbirds, spotted sandpiper, killdeer, Eurasian collared dove and a non-feral house cat (with collar).
Thanks are extended to all who volunteered despite the heat, with special thanks to:
• Betty Klepper, founding member of S.U.R.E
• VFW Post #922 for staffing the grills for the barbecue lunch
• Umatilla Basin Watershed Council for organizational support
• East Oregonian for providing printing and publicity
• Pendleton Parks & Rec for disposing of the trash
• Les Schwab Tire Center for donating plastic bags for recyclables
• Baha’i Community for bringing dessert
• SOLVE Oregon for trash bags and logistical support
• Pendleton Robotics team for taking away the recyclables
For more information or if interested in participating in future river cleanups, email Kathryn B. Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the S.U.R.E. email list.