Tuesday, April 17, 2012
The Arkansas River and Wichita Ducks Unlimited will be beneficiaries of the 11th annual Arkansas River Trash Roundup, April 21, 2012, 9:00 a.m. to noon. In partnership with the City of Wichita, Wichita Ducks Unlimited, Spirit AeroSystems, Dillons Food Stores, Mel Hamilton Ford, U.S. Logo, Inc., Waste Connections, Inc. and The Party Express Bus LLC, Cargill will be the primary sponsor of the river clean-up for the fourth consecutive year.
Cargill is donating $15,000 in funding for the clean-up project and for Sumner County wetlands restoration work, with additional first-time financial support and/or volunteers being provided by Spirit AeroSystems, Dillons and Mel Hamilton Ford.
The clean-up is one of Cargill’s Earth Day environmental support activities taking place around the world in April, May and June. It is the primary Earth Day event for the City of Wichita. Participants in the Arkansas River Trash Roundup will collect and remove garbage and debris that has accumulated on the banks of the river near downtown Wichita over the past 12 months. In 2011, approximately 650 volunteers removed almost 3 tons of trash and debris from the river and its banks in the downtown area, both numbers setting records.
This year’s volunteers will assemble at the south end of the Lawrence-Dumont stadium parking lot before proceeding to the banks of the river for the trash removal effort.
“With thousands of employees and their families from sponsoring companies calling the Wichita area home, it is exciting to see the increasing momentum and level of volunteer support for this local effort aimed at improving the river environment in downtown Wichita, as well as enhancing vital wetlands in Kansas for migratory birds,” stated Jody Horner, president of Cargill’s North American meat business headquartered in Wichita. “Having volunteers participate from a variety of business sectors and local government is exciting, as is watching this annual effort continue to grow. Preserving the natural environment for the enjoyment of current and future generations is important. The Arkansas River is a vital waterway and asset we need to protect. Through collaboration of public and private entities, terrific work is being done to ensure it is properly preserved for people to use and enjoy.”
In the Wichita area, the Arkansas River is located within North America’s south central flyway, a key route for migratory birds that seasonally move north and south throughout the year.
“Migratory birds ranging from waterfowl to Bald Eagles pass through the Wichita area each year, with the Arkansas River providing an important natural element that helps support this activity,” stated Kirk Lies, assistant vice president of commercial banking with UMB Bank in Wichita, and area chairman of the Wichita chapter of Ducks Unlimited. “In a world where the human population is more than 7 billion, and resources must be conserved and used prudently, the Arkansas River Trash Roundup is a wonderful example of how people can work together to make a positive difference to the natural environment in Wichita.”
“It is heartwarming and pleasing to see how much of an impact volunteers have on the river in the downtown area in such a short period of time,” said Libby Albers, City of Wichita Public Works WATER Center Coordinator. “We make certain these efforts are properly documented through our registration with American Rivers as part of the annual ‘National River Cleanup’ initiative. All of who work on this project have a keen appreciation for role fresh water plays in our lives.”