Monday, June 23, 2008

Welcome help and a new alliance!

Last month, a barrage of promotional announcements on KARE 11 TV promoted the fact that was going to be featured on the station’s Earth KARE segment. A friend of ours got in touch with Joe Rauscher at Joe’s Sporting Goods, who had also seen the advance publicity for the newscast segment. As we mentioned in a previous posting, Joe gave us a call and offered to help. But I’m pleased to let you know that the actions of Jim and Joe Rauscher have spoken even louder than their words.

This month, we have been provided two new vessel(s) to use in our Geo-Trashing and river clean-up efforts: 14’ Pungo kayaks, manufactured by Wilderness Systems. The craft are provided courtesy of Joe’s Sporting Goods in St. Paul, and will help us continue and expand on our river restoration efforts.

Let me describe the boats involved, which were selected for very specific reasons. In past writing, I’ve explained how water-borne trash tends to accumulate in areas of strong current; the Pungo 14’ is a broad-based recreational kayak with the kind of stability that makes it easier to throw yourself against a fishing pier, bridge truss, or log jam. (It feels much safer than our little 10’ was!) Plus, these yaks track really well… which will make fatigue less of a problem when we’re taking a longer geo-tagging trip. Finally, the craft have high buoyancy… meaning they will support my near 200-lb. size easily, and still leave plenty of room for any trash we pick-up along the way. (The cockpit is large, and even has a pretty good “bin” immediately behind the seat. When Joe originally offered to help, I admit that I had a specific (and different!) model in mind. But upon listening to his advice and accepting his expertise, we’ve landed in the perfect craft for our needs. (It’s nice to work with someone who knows more about these things than I do!)

Another great thing about this partnership? It works for our grass-roots structure (or lack of structure!). The boats are not donated... they are merely on loan. That means instead of having a tax liability, we simply have someone helping us get the job done. (Remember, we're neither a non-profit organization nor a for-profit business; we're just folks who want to clean up the river.)

We’d like to thank Joe’s Sporting Goods, and namely, Jim and Joe Rauscher, for behaving like the family-owned, home-town retailer that they are. They have seen something important taking shape… and they have proactively reached out to help it grow. Thus, we’re proud to cite Joe’s Sporting Goods as an official watercraft outfitter of

© 2008 Mike D. Anderson, Crystal, MN.

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