A team of volunteers took to the Colorado River near Parker, AZ last Saturday with a large-scale trash collection effort at the Parker Tube Float. The swimsuit-wearing volunteers, many of whom are residents of Lake Havasu City, decided to do it in response to the excess trash that was found on the river after last year’s event.
The group had 3 boats anchored on the river, including a cooking barge donated by Todd Taylor on which they cooked 1,000 hot dogs donated by Walmart. Ryan Dvorak of Slide Anchor in LHC spearheaded the idea, secured the donations of hot dogs and volunteered a jet ski and dingy as a collection vehicle, along with his own giant barbecue.
Bonnie Butterworth, who was one of those involved, reports:
We were able to catch and tie up many tubers who requested trash bags so they could clean their tubes out. The current was very strong, but we were able to keep them there long enough to get them fed and collect their trash. We have no idea how many trash bags were handed out, but I can tell you from my experience on Saturday that the tubers were more interested in getting the trash bags and cleaning their tubes out then they were in food (don’t get me wrong, they wanted the food, too, but the trash was top priority for them).
Butterworth says she thinks the effort helped change the mind-set of many tubers, who she believes simply didn’t think about where to put their empties while floating until they were already on the water.
We didn’t know what to expect this year; it had never been done before, and we had a plethora of issues and challenges in the morning that we weren’t expecting, but we see where things worked well and we see where we can better our efforts, and we have every intention of doing this again next year. We hope to double the food and double the trash collection.
The group mentioned thanks to the following people: Malcolm Inc. of Surprise, AZ (including Tim Malcolm and Craig Murphy), Debbie Ashton for donating her double-decker pontoon boat for storage, Dave & Vicki Johnson for cooking, Mike Quijada & Desiree Sherk for making trash runs by watercraft, Ryan Dvorak, Rubina & Matthew Heard, Mike & Heather Lynn, Megan Spielman, Jo Askimat, Chad Devereaux, Von & Nicole, Adam Cooper, Kim Bowers, Ashlea Smith, Nick Danger, Adam McClearn and more.
More pictures below.