Boise & Garden City

15th annual Boise RiverSweep expected to draw hundreds of volunteers

Boise River: No excuse for littering

A public service announcement from Boise RiverSweep
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A public service announcement from Boise RiverSweep

Volunteers will be spread along the Boise River from Boise to Caldwell, picking up garbage for the 15th year in a row.

The city of Boise credits the annual event with “a drastic reduction in trash along the upstream portion of the river.”

Capt. Noel Rios, firefighter Joe Ostermiller, and firefighter Chad Tiffany of the Boise Fire Department Dive Team spent Thursday morning clearing obstructions from the Boise River in preparation for the 2016 opening of float season in Boise.

Still, the popular floating, fishing and general recreation strip collects its share of garbage, especially in the summer months when it’s most heavily used. Besides cleaning up the river, the RiverSweep is aimed at educating the public about the importance of keeping it that way, according to the event’s web page.

Decades of cleanup have turned the Boise River from what was once a veritable dumping grounds for all kinds of industrial and other trash to perhaps the most attractive asset in town. Author David Proctor recently published a book, “Pathway of Dreams,” about what it took to build the Boise River Greenbelt along the banks of the waterway.

The Greenbelt and reclamation of the river together have been credited with helping turn Boise into a popular and prosperous city.

This year’s Boise RiverSweep goes from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. Registration for the Boise area is closed, but volunteers are still needed for the area between the Glenwood Bridge and Caldwell, city of Boise environmental education coordinator Aimee Hughes said. For information on how to volunteer to help clean up that section, call Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s Michael Young at (208) 327-7095.

A summer trip down the Boise River should be on everyone's bucket list. In most conditions, the journey from Barber Park to Ann Morrison Park takes at least a couple of hours. Don't have that kind of time? Here's the trip in 170 seconds.

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