Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 34: White River Watchers

Today's give is to a local organization which has done some great work helping to beautify the White River. Their name, appropriately enough, is the White River Watchers of Madison County. I was able to volunteer with their 2009 White River Fall clean-up, which had me walking up and down the White River dragging trash out of it. Just the group I was with - consisting of about a dozen people on foot who covered less than a mile of the river - found, among other bits of debris, four or five tires, a giant tractor tire, a set of bed springs, and one large, empty oil barrel that had rusted through. (Other groups - two entire school buses full, as I recall - loaded up in canoes and traveled the river that way to find and clear other trash.)

Amber didn't accompany me, because at the time she was very pregnant. But we did, later that day, take Elijah for a walk down by one of the river's tributaries and he was able to practice casting his fishing pole (with a rubber fish weight tied onto the end of it). We saw a lot of trash in that area, and talked to him about how important it was to not litter, especially in the river. We explained to him that even though someone else had left the trash there, it was our job to help clean it up, because if it was left there it would make the Earth and the fish sick.

While we do our part with our son, the White River Watchers (founded in 1997) performs outreach with local schools, as well as performing chemical tests on the White River water supply, to supplement their clean-up activities. They've received numerous awards and recognition for their work, including the 2004 Governor's Award for Excellence in Community Service and Volunteerism for the Environment. Their mission, "to protect the White River ecosystem for the present and future use of all by means of community involvement and education" is one that Amber and I can both get behind 100%.

(For those wondering about the Day 33 give - it was Sunday, so we gave a tithe to church and brought a pie, and spent the rest of the day spending time together as a family.)

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