Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Welcome, first time visitors, to

Tonight, our project was featured in the KARE 11 News Extra, known as Earth KARE. My name is Mike, and I’m the guy you saw picking junk out of the river from a little 10’ kayak. I’m really glad you stopped by, because there are a couple of things I’d like to reiterate from tonight’s story.

First, let me share a few thoughts about how to navigate this site. Start by realizing it is a blog, more than a web site. Thus, you’re reading the most recent postings first. As you read each progressive posting, you’re going back in time, through the chronology of events that have brought us to today. For your convenience, see the “Important Pages” on the navigation bar to your right. They'll take you to the specific topic you may be looking for. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by email… and I’ll do my best to either provide you with the answer, or suggest where you might find it.

Next: Know that river cleanup can be a tricky task. I implore you to NEVER work on or near the river alone… always work with a friend. Plus, note that the water is still pretty high due to our late winter thaw and heavy spring rains in northern Minnesota. So hold back for a couple of weeks before you get started, for safety’s sake. In fact, I’d watch this USGS web site, and wait for the water level to be under the 3 to 3.5’ point, per the USGS water gage on the Mississippi at the Anoka measuring site. For more safety guidelines, visit the Minnesota DNR’s Adopt-a-River web site… and follow their safety tips, written based on their years of experience and wisdom. IMPORTANT: Anyone who engages in river clean-up does so at their own risk. Be careful. Know your limits. And work with friends.

We hope you enjoy exploring Don’t worry about getting too deep into the technology and complexity of how we’re attacking river restoration. Remember that anyone with a pair of gloves, a few garbage bags and an old pair of tennis shoes is equipped enough to help clean a shoreline. And if you want to clean up the environment, don’t just pick-up a lottery ticket the next time you stop at a convenience store… pick up a drink cup or beverage bottle you see laying in the parking lot. Just that one gesture will keep a lot of trash from washing down the storm sewers, and eventually into the river. We have a motto: Anyone, on any given day, has the power to improve a place.

Friends and Support. It has been a gratifying day for my wife and I. Friends who have seen the promotional announcements about our project on KARE 11 have been calling throughout the day. And one of those friends (thanks, Todd) introduced our project to a couple of gentlemen by the name of Jim and Joe Rauscher. Jim and Joe are the owners of Joe’s Sporting Goods, a third-generation family sporting goods store. Joe gave me a call this evening, saying, “We love what you’re doing, we thank you for your effort, and we’d like to help provide you with some new tools.” With that, Joe offered to provide us with a new kayak.

This contribution to the cause is greatly appreciated, but it is not terribly surprising. The product line at Joe’s Sporting Goods covers the gambit of outdoor sports… and they’ve been close to Minnesota’s outdoors for 75+ years. Thus, their livelihood depends on the continued protection and respect for our great outdoors. We’re just pleased that they see our work as worthy of their support. [For more information about Joe’s, visit, or stop at their store in Little Canada, at Highway 36 and Rice Street.]

© 2008 Mike D. Anderson, Crystal, MN.

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