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15th annual Medina River Cleanup May 2

Special to the Courier

Courtesy photo
David Zambrano identifies trash in the 50 miles of the Medina River in Bandera County that will be the subject of the 15th annual Medina River Cleanup on Saturday, May 2.

Currently, 50 miles of the Medina River within Bandera County are being carefully scanned in preparation for the annual river cleanup on Saturday, May 2. Although there have been no floods in the river during the past year, the receding water has made accessible the manmade debris from previous floods.
Four years of drought have wreaked havoc on river recreation. Shuttles from most of the tube and kayak rental companies have ceased and may not open this year without more spring rain.
However, the Medina River Cleanup continues - rain or no rain. Participants are expected from all parts of Texas. Last year, 209 people from 24 Texas towns pitched in to clear almost two tons of manmade trash from the river. Because of the drought, only 29 of them paddled.
Unless there is significant rain between now and cleanup day, cleanup coordinator Bob Brischetto said attention will be paid again this year to removal of trash by truck and hiking. Four Boy Scout troops and one Girl Scout troop will participate in this year's cleanup.
Cooperation from ranchers and landowners along the river is essential for identification of the big items of trash to be removed. "We've had 100 percent cooperation from land owners along the river in the 15 years of the river cleanup," said Brischetto. "It's a community-wide volunteer effort and we invite locals to bring their tractors, pickups and equipment to help pull out trash from the river bed and banks." Landowners can contact him at 210-413-7264 to report large pieces to be removed on cleanup day.
The schedule of the May 2 cleanup is as follows:
• Registration - 9 am to noon at the Bandera City Park for both paddlers and those who will clean up by foot or in trucks.
• T-shirts will be given to all participants at registration.
• Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served to participants by Precinct 2 Bandera County Commissioner Bobby Harris and his cooking crew.
• Barbecue dinner will be 5 pm to 7 pm for all volunteers and donors with music by local western recording artist Josh Peek.
• Free tent camping at City Park and the Pioneer River Resort on May 1 and 2.
Sponsors of this year's cleanup are the City of Bandera Economic Development Corporation, Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District, the Bandera Business Association, Bandera County Commissioners Court, Lake Medina Conservation Society, Chuck and Janet Andres and Louis Howard.
The cleanup is conducted by the Medina River Protection Fund, a public charity. The perpetual fund was established to engage residents in all parts of the county in a community-wide effort to preserve and protect the river. Don Sloan serves as treasurer. Tax-deductible donations may be made out to the Medina River Protection Fund and sent to PO Box 417, Lakehills 78063.
For more information on the river cleanup, maps of the Medina River and section heads, visit www.MedinaRiver.net.