With the severe flooding this spring, it will be interesting to see what turns up in the annual Saranac River cleanup Saturday.
Maybe the river will be more cluttered than ever; we suspect the riverside alder bushes below the Pine Street bridge hold all kinds of junk.
Regardless, there's definitely a great deal of work to be done, and your help is needed. We understand that this is short notice - the announcement only went out Wednesday - but please, try to come out and help.
Todd Fuchs of Saranac Lake holds up a soup container he found in the Saranac River on June 5, 2010 as Emma Galeotti, also of Saranac Lake, comes over to see it.
(Enterprise file photo — Peter Crowley)
It's a dirty, wet job, but that also makes it fun. It's also a duty. We all live with the river, and people mess it up every year with our trash. We are responsible for cleaning it up as well.
It's amazing what comes out of the river in this annual cleanup, which has been going on for at least 15 years. Last year's haul included six bicycles, three shopping carts, a toilet, a stroller, three road cones, four golf balls, a cassette tape ("Your Move" by America), a glass pipe, a flashlight, about 100 feet of metal pipe and a great deal of clothing, including a pair of Hot Wheels underpants and a sweatshirt that said, "Life is like a river: Earth Trek 2003."
The cleanup crew will start at 1 p.m. at the Saranac Lake River Walk beside the village parking lot off Dorsey Street. It usually works its way downstream through the village to the Pine Street bridge and sometimes beyond, as far as time allows. This year there is talk of starting a second crew downstream at the Saranac Lake Fish and Game Club to work back toward the village, especially in those aforementioned alders.
Plastic gloves and bags will be provided. Wear clothes that you don't mind getting wet and grubby, and it would be great if you could bring a boat that you don't mind getting dirty and maybe a little banged up - an old beater canoe would be perfect. The boats become garbage barges, and the cleaner-uppers often spend much of their time wading in the river up to their waists. Again, it really is fun: It releases one's inner child and makes you feel alive, along with the good feeling of doing something to help your community.
For more information, call cleanup coordinators Jim or Jennie Sausville at 891-2062. They do this every year, and the community owes them a great debt of gratitude.