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Medina River Cleanup takes to water on Saturday

Special to the Courier

The annual Medina River Cleanup has increasingly been a draw for paddlers from throughout the state. Most of them regard the river in Bandera, shaded by giant cypress trees, as the most beautiful river in Texas. Last year, in the midst of the worse drought ever recorded in any one year, a total of 200 participants from 33 Texas towns pitched in to clean by boat and mostly by foot.

The river stopped running by the fall of 2011 and was bone dry for several months. With the spring rain of 2012, the springs of Bandera County were rejuvenated and the river actually overflowed its banks in mid-March.

Paddlers from throughout Texas will return to help clean the river this Saturday, May 5, for the Twelfth Annual Medina River Cleanup.

Co-sponsors of the cleanup are the Texas River Protection Fund, the Lake Medina Conservation Society, Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District, the Bandera Economic Development Corporation and Bandera County. The city has provided a dumpster for trash and Dave Cox of Bandera will coordinate recycling at the cleanup.

At the end of cleanup day, participants and contributors to the Medina River Protection Fund will gather at the city park dam for a three-meat barbecue cooked by County Commissioner Bobby Harris.

The schedule for the event includes:

• May 4 and 5 - Free camping at Bandera City Park and Pioneer River Resort

• May 5, 9 am until noon - Registration at entrance to the city park; all participants will receive free T-shirts to all participants.

From 5 pm until 7 pm, a barbecue will take place at Bandera City Park near the dam with entertainment by Rodney Joe Smith and John "Woody" Woods.

The Medina River Protection Fund is a public charity established as a perpetual fund to engage residents in all parts of the county in a community-wide effort to preserve and protect the river. Precinct 2 Commissioner Bobby Harris serves as president with Don Sloan, treasurer.

Cleanup organizers ask landowners and ranchers along the Medina River to report trash on the riverbed and banks and to bring trucks and tractors to help remove trash items too large to fit into canoes.

Landowners are asked to report any river trash near their property prior to cleanup day to the cleanup coordinator Bob Brischetto at 210-413-7264.

For more information on the river cleanup and fund drive, maps of the Medina River and section heads, visit the website at


or call Brischetto at 830-612-3643.

Pictured: John Bilderback found a refrigerator on the banks of the river near Medina.