Another successful clean up on the Rum River

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the Friends of the Rum River and the Mille Lacs Soil and Water Conservation District, we wish to thank all who participated in the eighth annual “Fun in the Rain or Sun Cleaning Up the Rum” event Sept. 21. The weather was great — no rain — and all enjoyed scouring the stretch a second year in a row between Milaca Riverview Park and the Bogus Brook Town Hall.

The original plan was to navigate and pick up the six miles of river north of Milaca. However, despite the heavy rains the week before, a last minute kayak reconnaissance revealed that stretch would be hard on watercraft and participants alike. So, on Friday at exactly 7:30 p.m. it was decided to repeat the section covered in 2012.

Despite the last minute change, 45 people, young and older, successfully launched from Milaca Riverview Park at 9:30 a.m., with five people playing backup on shore. The weather was perfect, and the river enjoyable, with enough challenge to make things interesting. Finds this year included broken chairs,  fishing lures, an old iron ice fishing stove, artwork made of CDs strung in the trees (we left that one) and the proverbial tires — this year 14 of them — a new record for our efforts. Casey and Jeff, the shuttle drivers for the Country Camping, estimated the take at about a half ton (1,000 pounds).

Many thanks to all participants, which included members of the Adventure Club (Scouts) of Rogers, the biology class of Anoka Ramsey Community College – Coon Rapids campus, and numerous other individuals and families. Thanks to Cub Foods for their generous donation of gift cards for the purchase of snacks and water. Thanks as well to Jim’s Mille Lacs Disposal for picking up the garbage pulled out of the river. And as always, Friends of the Rum River is ever grateful to Country Camping for offering free shuttle service for both participants and their watercraft, and extra watercraft as well. Thanks again to the owner of Country Camping, Patty Midlo, for the delicious homemade cookies. They all disappeared in an instant. And particularly, thanks again to the Mille Lacs SWCD, co-organizers of this year’s event. You all rock.

Kriste Ericsson, Facilitator
Friends of the Rum River