Employees of Cox Media Group Ohio will once again be joining in the effort to scour the Great Miami River for debris as participants of Clean Sweep 2013. The Northern Clean-up for the event — from Indian Lake to Franklin — will take place Friday and Saturday.
The idea is to clean up and beautify one of the region’s most important natural resources so that the river can be enjoyed by everyone.
“In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to have a Clean Sweep,” said Linda Raterman, public relations specialist for the Miami Soil and Water Conservation District. “We’re trying to educate people to view the river as theirs and teach them that it’s important not to treat it like a wastebasket.”
According to Denise Miles, CMG Ohio’s Clean Sweep leader, Cox Media Group Ohio initiated its partnership with American Rivers in 2010 and has continued the tradition ever since.
“In our first three years, employees have collected thousands of pounds of garbage from the Great Miami River,” said Miles. “This has become an annual activity and a great opportunity for all employees to show their commitment to the community and to the well-being of our Great Miami River.”
Miles said Cox, which provides volunteers with T-shirts, water bottles, gloves, trash bags and lunch, will be joined again by Manheim employees from Cincinnati.
Among the Cox employees who have volunteered for the project every year is Jim Moser, who has worked in the advertising department of the Dayton Daily News, now Cox Media Group Ohio, for more than 20 years.
“As a self-proclaimed nature-loving, tree-hugger, it seemed like a natural fit to join an effort that cleans up the Wolf Creek, its levies and the levy bordering Riverview Park,” explained Moser, who arrives with his heavy gloves, a large wheelbarrow and his pick-up truck to maximize the efforts of the other volunteers.
Moser said he is always “astounded” by the amount of trash he and his colleagues pull from the creek and its levies.
“I can’t help but think that if we weren’t descending on this area ever July, it might quickly resemble a landfill,” he said. “Outside of copious amounts of fast food trash and bottles, I’m simultaneously amazed and depressed by the variety of waste that people throw over the bridge, into our waterways — bicycles, lawnmowers, furniture and tires by the score find their way into the creek or dissolving into the tall grasses on the levy.”
The Clean Sweep effort is organized by groups including American Rivers and Five Rivers MetroParks. The southern section of the river — from Middletown to the Ohio River — will be cleaned up oNov. 2 due to the possibility of flooding at this time of year.
Sponsors say it’s not merely about cleaning up trash, but also about demonstrating a desire for clean water and healthy rivers.
“The Great Miami River is a valuable and irreplaceable source of recreation, healthy water, and economic development for our communities,” said Sarah Hippensteel Hall, manager of Watershed Partnerships for the Miami Valley Conservancy District. “Helping to keep our river clean ensures that it stays that way for generations to come.”
For more information about the 2013 Clean Sweep of the Great Miami River, see www.cleansweepofthegreatmiamiriver.org