2019: Looking Beyond CleanScapes’ Year of Relentless Rain

Featured photo depicts volunteers at the November 3, 2018, Piatt Township Cleanup event, courtesy of CleanScapes Advisory Board President Dr. John Reid.

Planning 2018 spring, summer, and autumn outdoor community clean-up events was exceedingly challenging.  Week after week of unending springtime rainfall turned saturated sod into squishy mush, and wadable waterways became fast-moving, silt-laden flows of sheer strength. Record-breaking rainfall created hazardous currents, forcing us to call off two summertime waterway cleanups. Three spring event dates and one in autumn were cancelled and quickly rescheduled due to the relentless rain. These cancellations triggered planning restarts. In other words, everything that was planned and ordered needed to be quickly undone and redone fast!

2018 clean-up scheduling was stuck on a way-too-long rollercoaster ride. Events were planned, ready to go. Then the unexpected waits, starts, stops, restarts, hold your breath followed by a maddening rush to complete the job! Meanwhile, millions of mosquitoes hatched. They continued to nourish themselves, relentlessly pricking all red-blooded creatures from April through October.

Yet throughout these cancellations and administrative redos, there was a team of patient and understanding volunteers waiting on stand-by. When clean-up days finally happened, CleanScapes volunteers came out, slogged through the mud and as always, enthusiastically overcame all obstacles and soldiered on. In fact, they cleaned up all four sites in record times!

CleanScapes’ long-term goal is to continue planning community clean-up events until all our public spaces are restored. Since the 2018 rainfall events altered rubbish locations, we will resurvey our floodplains for trash and this summer we must relocate tires in our waterways. Your financial support will allow us to complete these community-based improvement projects. Rain or shine, and only with your assistance, CleanScapes volunteers will continue to restore our region’s natural beauty!

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This column was written by Elisabeth Lynch McCoy, Clinton County CleanScapes Project Director. Learn more about Elisabeth here.

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