MARQUETTE - The Superior Watershed Partnership is hoping to encourage community groups to get out and clean up area beaches, streams and rivers.
The SWP is offering mini-grants to help reimburse groups for cleanup supplies like gloves, garbage bags and some hauling costs.
"The (melting) snow uncovered a lot of things. We're giving community groups the opportunity to get together and be on a river or stream or beach and clean it up," said Natasha Koss, program coordinator.
These tires were removed from the Escanaba River near Gwinn during a Superior Watershed Partnership cleanup program last year. The SWP is offering mini-grants to community groups to reimburse them for similar efforts this year. (Superior Watershed Partnership photo)
Volunteers helped remove large pieces of debris from the Escanaba River in the Gwinn area. (Superior Watershed Partnership photo)
Typically community groups can be awarded up to $100 to reimburse the costs of clean up supplies.
"We just want to know what they're doing and when they're going to do it," Koss said. "We ask them to save their receipts and send us a write up of their event."
The SWP oversees around 20 watershed councils across the U.P., which were the original target audiences for the mini-grants. The funding, however, has been opened up to any community groups that want to host a clean up.
"The (melting) snow uncovered a lot of things. We're giving community groups the opportunity to get together and be on a river or stream or beach and clean it up."
-?Natasha Koss, program coordinator, Superior Watershed Partnership
Clean ups don't necessarily have to focus on a beach or river either.
Other projects have included repairing erosion problems and building stairs to access waterfalls.
Koss said there are many areas within the city of Marquette and the county as a whole that could benefit from a trash pick up.
"There's certainly areas in Marquette County that need to be cleaned up," she said, highlighting the area around the Dead River and Carp River in particular.
The mini-grants will be available to community groups through next month and Koss said she hoped to see more groups sign up. This is the third year the grant program has been in existence.
The funds can be used anywhere across the U.P., including Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, inland lakes and rivers.
More information on the program can be found at www.superiorwatersheds.org/communities.php or by calling 906-228-6095.
Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.