Kids collecting trash help Kenai River Spring Cleanup

Kids collecting trash help Kenai River Spring Cleanup

As the budding leaves and warmer temperatures bring promise of the summer season and hours spent enjoying the mighty Kenai River, members of our community young and old were found volunteering their time and energy to make sure the up and coming fishing and camping season is a fun great experience. Kicking off this year’s second annual Kenai River Spring Cleanup was a unique display blending the values of community collaboration and education. May 7th – 12th found 522 students and 105 adult volunteers from Sterling Elementary, Redoubt Elementary, Soldotna Elementary, K-Beach Elementary, Cook Inlet Academy and Connections Homeschool program peppering the banks of our famous river, gleaning the debris left by last year’s fishermen and campers and buried by the past winter. The tangible excitement of being out of a closed classroom and into the school of the outdoors rang through the air to the tune of what was ultimately 3,669 lbs. of trash, a shocking 1,260 lbs. more than last year’s haul.

Special Education teacher Ms. Roed of Redoubt Elementary told the Dispatch, “The most beneficial aspect to the kid’s involvement was simply giving them an awareness of their environment while also bestowing a sense of stewardship. The children participating are the next generation of fishermen and caretakers of the environment and giving them the opportunity to see what goes into caring for our home is invaluable,” she said. The kids were also provided with an opportunity to learn teamwork with every student participating getting a chance to win a new fishing pole donated by XTO Energy. This year’s winner was Redoubt Elementary school. Additionally, every school that participated in the Kid’s Cleanup earned a pizza party in recognition of their efforts. The annual event also provide a learning experience for the next generation as they learn about the environment and community support.

According to Mark Glassmaker, Kenai River Professional Guide Assoc, “This all simply sprung out of a desire to see the banks of the river cleaner while involving our youth. As a summer fishing guide, the trash along the river was always a point of aggravation and as soon as I had the idea, all I needed was community support and that support came in abundance from Keith Baxter of KPTMC and Soldotna City Councilman. What began as a Kid’s Cleanup Day grew into a weeklong event open to all members of the peninsula with volunteers even going so far as to boat in above Bing’s Landing to collect trash. On May 16th the Cleanup culminated in a Cleanup BBQ at Soldotna Creek Park in celebration of the work accomplished. “Everyone who participated in either the kid’s river cleanup or the community cleanup entered to win prizes that awarded at the Community Cleanup BBQ. Prizes ranged from passes to the Alaska SeaLife Center and Jumpin’ Junction, to guided fishing trips, including two fly-out fishing trip packages,” said Baxter. Partners in the event included Alaska State Parks, City of Soldotna, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Kenai Peninsula Stream Watch, Kenai River Professional Guide Assoc, Kenai River Sportfishing Association and Soldotna Chamber of Commerce, as well as sponsorship by AlaskaUSA, Batir Construction, Soldotna Elks Lodge #2706, Soldotna VFW Post #100046, Stanley Chrysler, and XTO Energy.

Kids collecting trash help Kenai River Spring Cleanup
Kids collecting trash help Kenai River Spring Cleanup

More in News

Bradley Walters leads the pack up Angle Hill on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at the Salmon Run Series at Tsalteshi Trails. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Summer races kick off at Tsalteshi

The annual Salmon Run Series 5K races start on July 6 and continue every Wednesday through Aug. 3

Central Emergency Services staff wait to receive doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly mulls bond for new CES fire station

Replacement of the current station is estimated to cost $16.5 million

Buldozers sit outside of the former Kenai Bowling Alley on Thursday, June 23, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Old Kenai bowling alley comes down

The business closed in 2015

Landslide debris surrounds part of Lowell Point Road on Friday, June 3, 2022, in Seward, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly looks to mitigate future Lowell Point Road dangers

Assembly members approved legislation supporting agencies working to address the “repetitive hazards”

The Alaska Department of Health And Social Services building in Juneau has no visible signs indicating the department is splitting into two agencies as of Friday. Top officials at the department said many of the changes, both physical and in services, are likely weeks and in some cases months away. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Little sign of big change for DHSS

No commissioner at new department, other Department of Health and Social Services changes may take months

Nate Rochon cleans fish after dipnetting in the Kasilof River, on June 25, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
King closures continue; Kasilof dipnet opens Saturday

The early-run Kenai River king sport fishery remains closed, and fishing for kings of any size is prohibited

An "Al Gross for Congress" sign sits near the driveway to Gross’ home in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, after he announced plans to withdraw from the U.S. House race. Gross has given little explanation in two statements for why he is ending his campaign, and a woman who answered the door at the Gross home asked a reporter to leave the property. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Alaska judge rules Sweeney won’t advance to special election

JUNEAU — A state court judge ruled Friday that Alaska elections officials… Continue reading

Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion 
Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen listens to a presentation from Alaska Communications during a meeting of the Soldotna City Council on Wednesday, March 9, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska.
ACS pilots fiber program in certain peninsula neighborhoods

The fiber to the home service will make available the fastest internet home speeds on the peninsula

Most Read