White River cleanup fun for students, good for environment

Last Saturday, a group of about 30 Butler University students hit the White River and its shores to clean it up.
The White Rive Cleanup is a service project put on by the Center for Urban Ecology (CUE) and takes place once per year.
Butler has adopted a 1.5 mile stretch of the White River through the Hoosier River Watch Adopt-a-River program.
Sophomore Dan French particpated in the cleanup for his seond year.
“This year, when I arrived, I found out I was in the canoes,” French said. “We all met at the Rocky Ripple Town Center, and they already had all the canoes and everything organized.”
There were two groups at the cleanup. One group was in canoes and the other group was walking along the the toe path and river bank.
French said that as a freshman he was in the group that was on foot along the banks.
He said both experiences were fun, but very different.
“At one point we found a steering helm, like for a boat.,” he said.
In addition to the steering helm, French’s canoe found a 30 foot rope, headlights from a car, big black plastic tubs that would be used for landscaping ponds, metal sheeting that had fallen from a roof, car parts, bottles and cans.
Sophomore Tabatha Ramsey also participated in the White River Cleanup for her second time.
She too was in a canoe and said she witnessed a lot of interesting items being collected during the cleanup.
“[In my canoe] we found a tire,” Ramsey said. “There was one canoe beside us that had a bunch a big stuff, but mostly we found a lot of beer cans, cigarette cases and plastic bags and cups.”
She said she believes that for the most part, Butler is doing a good job of keeping the river clean.
“I’m glad I participated. I think I would do it again,” Ramsey said. “I think it’s a fun thing and it’s a good way to get involved with the sEnvironmental Concerns Organization and CUE because you get to know people and meet people.”
French said he too would participate in the White River Cleanup again.
“It was a lot of fun,” he said. “You’re helping clean up your area and you’re getting stuff out of the river that doesn’t need to be there.”
“If you’re looking for something that’s not a continuous project, but you want to put service on your résumé, or you just want to help out, it’s a good way to do it,” French said. “It’s really a lot of fun, and it’s a good way to meet new people.”

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