Friday, December 10, 2010

Keep Dubuque County Clean and Green

Mark and reserve on your 2011 Sierra Club Calendar the date of Friday, April 15. The Banana Slug Band is coming to the Mines of Spain's E.B. Lyons Interpretive Center that evening as part of a possible late afternoon Eco Expo there. Booked by KDCCG. Others will get involved. Plan to join in on the fun!!

Butchie and Gary Thompson, besides their own personal motivations, have served as our White Pine Group ambassadors to the "Keep Dubuque County Clean and Green" organization since its inception. Four of our Sierra Group members were among the six KDCCG volunteers who did a Swiss Valley Road ditch clean-up from US 20 to the Nature Center entrance on Sunday afternoon, November 14. Among the "yet to be sorted and cleaned" three bags of recyclables (including a few large brown beer bottles that seem to always accumulate along that section of the road) and several other bags of general trash was the discovery of a discarded meth lab in two duffel bags. It was soon removed by the law enforcement security team that deals with such matters and contents provided a potential lead regarding the perpetrators. Butchie prepared the following report about KDCCG. Please consider supporting this organization by getting onto the mailing list and participating when you can.

In October 2006 we received a letter from the Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste agency and the City of Dubuque inviting us to an informational meeting on community beautifcation with an emphasis on litering. The litering part caught our eyes. We have been complaining for years about the trash along our roadways and decided that this might be a way to "put our money where our mouth is."

At the meeting Gerry Schnepf from Keep Iowa Beautiful talked about how we could organize and participate in community betterment programs by becoming an affiliate.

Keep Iowa Beautiful works to:
  1. Assist communities and organizations in cleanup and beautification projects by establishing rain gardens, combating invasive species, and conducting neighborhood paint-up events.
  2. Promote littering and illegal dumping enforcement.
  3. Increase public awareness of the costs of littering.
  4. Improve waste minimization and recycling.
  5. Help fund and provide beautification education programs.
We're happy to say that Keep Dubuque County Clean & Green was formed a year later. We are supported by the DMASWA through staff time and some financial assistance. Other agencies providing support and volunteers include Dubuque County Conservation Board, IDNR Mines of Spain, Public Works Dept., Police Dept., Sierra Club, Audubon Society, various neighborhood associations and the National Mississippi Museam.

Since then we have held numerous cleanups on streets, roads, and rivers; pushed for a covered load policy at our land fill; worked with the Green Vision Education program to help schools earn their litter-free patch; asked for Dubuque County's assistance to start an Adopt-a-Road program and affixed "No Dumping; Drains to River" label to the city's storm sewers with members of Green Dubuque. Currently our focus is on illegal dumping.

To learn more we have a wonderful web site created by our then 13-year-old member. Check it out! Also we would welcome new faces with fresh ideas.

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