On April 11, the Freshwater Society honored Girl Scouts River Valleys with the inaugural Clean Water Champion Award for Centennial Day of Service.
On October 13, 2012, River Valleys’ girls, families and volunteers raked up and bagged 2 million pounds of leaves, soil and other debris from streets, parks and other public spaces. By keeping the leaves and other organic material out of storm sewers on Centennial Day of Service, girls helped fight the nutrient-fed excess algae growth that often chokes surface waters in urban areas.
Throughout the day, girls also stenciled 7,000 storm sewer entrances with an anti-pollution message. Many of the messages said: “Please Don’t Pollute. Drains To Mississippi River.”
“To mobilize 27,000 people on one day, and to keep this amount of organic material out of our rivers and streams, was just a phenomenal feat,” says Joan Nephew, the Freshwater Society’s executive director. “We are proud to have partnered with the Girl Scouts in this effort.
“And we are prouder still that many of the Girl Scouts have committed to repeating the cleanup this fall.”
The Freshwater Society and the Friends of the Minnesota Valley helped organize and coordinate Centennial Day of Service. The 3M company was the corporate sponsor.