GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The 9th annual Mayors Grand River Clean Up will take place Saturday, September 15. Hundreds of volunteers will descend on the banks of the Grand River with one goal in mind -- to leave it better looking than they found it.
Over the last eight years, thousands of volunteers have turned out to pick up nearly 100,000 pounds of trash from the banks of the river and its tributaries. The event has become so successful organizers say they need to branch out this year.
"We're going to different locations this year because the locations we've been to in the past have been cleaned so well by previous efforts that it's not necessary for us to go over there and clean them. So, we've found dirtier areas to clean up," said Anthony Puzzuoli, Community Service Coordinator with the West Michigan Environmental Action Council.
The WMEAC and the Grand Rapids Young Professionals will host the event which has grown from 50 volunteers in its inaugural year, to nearly 500 this year.
The mayors of Grand Rapids and Walker will be among those volunteers hoping to collect over 20,000 pounds of trash over a 12 mile stretch along the Grand River.
"This is also going to be the first event through which people are able to do volunteer activities for the city's 'My GR City Points' program," said Daniel Schoonmaker, WMEAC Director of Communications and Member Services. "It is the point-based system through which residents can earn prizes and coupons through a web-based portal run by local first."
Organizers say in the past volunteers have collected all kinds of trash from the water including plastic bags, bottles, clothing and shoes, even tires and mattresses. The hope is this event will continue to make our water and environment safer.
For more information, including how to register, times and locations visit the Grand River Clean Up website.