When people learn that we’ve recovered several discarded safes during our river cleanups, they almost always follow-up with this question: “Have you ever found anything of value?”
Sorry. Every safe we have recovered has been compromised (broken open and emptied).
But that’s not to say we have not found treasure. One of the best rewards of this project has been our accumulation of new friends; those we have met while on the water, doing the work. And those we have met through the social nature of blogging and the Internet. Often, we’ll receive feedback from folks who are miles away, but just as passionate about river recovery as we are.
Our latest friend addition is a gentleman who goes by the name of Suasco Al. His nickname is borrowed from the Suasco watershed, which includes the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers in Massachusetts. We noticed Al following us on our blog, so I turned around to introduce myself, via email. Al was quick to compliment our site, and tell us of the inspiration that led him to the clean-up effort.
“I remember a paddling friend of mine saying, "This river will look a lot better without this soda can floating in it," as he retrieved the can and placed it under a deck bungee. His comment and action stuck in the back of my mind and eventually it became difficult for me to just paddle past the trash I encountered.”
Al is a member of The Charles River Watershed Association, one of the oldest and most successful advocacy groups in the Northeast. He also has a blog where he chronicles his river clean-up efforts, at http://www.trashpaddler.com/.
© 2009 Mike D. Anderson, Crystal, MN.