2017 DuPage River Sweep was scheduled for May 20, but thunderstorms, though brief, forced cancellation. The date for Warrenville was rescheduled for June 3. The Prairie State Canoeists had a gorgeous morning on the river downstream in Naperville. The leaders – Kathi Landow and Ray Ziemer with Dawn in the Royalex Explorer -- met with two kayakers at the Three Diamonds put-in at Hidden Spring and Stauffer Rds. (downstream of the Burlington tracks, north Naperville). It’s an easy put-in off the gravel bar there, at a moderate water level (92 cfs at 7.56 feet high on the Warrenville gauge). Having staged a shuttle car at the take-out allowed us to start right at 9:00 a.m. without a group car shift.
The Conservation Foundation supplied garbage bags, water, and grabbers. gloves, and bottled water. Trash pick-up proceeded at a leisurely pace along the Naperville Riverwalk and through downtown, allowing other volunteers to catch up after a later start: Brad DeArk, Jim Berg, and Kelly Black. Overall, we found the condition of the West Branch fairly clean throughout the reach.
Each of the 8 paddlers ended up with a good-sized bag of trash this day, arriving around noon at the Pioneer Park landing. We loaded up a few larger goodies such as planters, chicken-wire, road construction cones, and a folding chair. The prize for most interesting item was a tough decision between Jim’s custom golf bag and Dawn’s Confederate flag. As the official clean-up Bagster was no longer in place, our contributions were left for the park district alongside the bike trailhead garbage cans. Ray shuttled the drivers back to pick up their cars at Three Diamonds.
Thanks to our great crews on water and land for participating in the 2017 DuPage River Sweep.