2016 Annual Shiawassee River Cleanup and Friends 20th Birthday Party

RitaJSTireStrongWomanCleanUp2015.JPGPeople who love the Shiawassee River have much to celebrate in July. The Friends of the Shiawassee River (Friends) is turning 20 years old and for an unprecedented ninth consecutive year, the Shiawassee County Health Department and the Friends have received grant funding from the Department of Environmental Quality and the Great Lakes Commission Volunteer River, Stream and Creek Cleanup program. The funds will support ongoing efforts to improve the health of the Shiawassee River and its surrounding natural resources through events such as the annual Shiawassee River Cleanup and tire collection. Everyone interested in pitching in on the River Cleanup is welcome to join the fun. All Cleanup volunteers will receive a free t-shirt and lunch. Register to volunteer at ShiawasseeRiver.org/calendar

 2016 Annual Shiawassee River Cleanup

9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Volunteers meet at one of the following locations by 9:00 am.  Click on the link to Register:

1. Corunna: McCurdy Park

2. Owosso: Oakwood Park at Oakwood Avenue Bridge (behind baseball fields)

NOTE: The Cleanup will be rescheduled for August 13th in the event of inclement weather.


Cleanup Volunteer Appreciation Lunch & Friends 20th Birthday Celebration

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Mitchell Amphitheater

219 N Water Street, Owosso, MI 48867

(located on the grounds of Owosso Middle School)

All Cleanup Volunteers will receive a free t-shirt and lunch.


 The 2016 Annual Cleanup is generously supported by the following sponsors: 

 J & S Tire (Owosso)
Oster Manufacturing Company (Owosso)
Johnny V’s Smokehouse (Corunna)
Owosso Graphic Arts
Matador’s Pizza (Byron)
Mancino’s (Owosso)
Cheff’s Canoe Rental (Vernon)
The Bagelman (Owosso)
Shiawassee County Health Department
Waste Management
Great Lakes Commission


“Thanks to the commitment of our volunteers and generous event sponsors, almost 700 tires have been recycled and removed from habitat since the annual cleanup was established 20 years ago” said Larry Johnson, Director of the Shiawassee County Health Department.  “This event is a great way for the community to come together and care for one of our greatest ecological assets, the Shiawassee River.  By caring for the river, we’re providing recreational opportunities for the public while ensuring a healthy habitat for aquatic life.

In 1996, the Friends of the Shiawassee River was founded by a group of individuals who wanted to continue the work of Owosso resident, Jim Miner. In the 1970's, Miner organized some of the first volunteer river cleanup events in Owosso. These events inspired a generation of river stewards, and ultimately the formation of the Friends.

“The Friends and all our supporters have worked for 20 years now to help improve the health vitality of the Shiawassee River, but we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us and carry on their good works,” said Lauri Elbing, Executive Director for the Friends of the Shiawassee River. “On July 30th, we’ll show our river some love with the annual cleanup and then we will celebrate our volunteers and this rich history of service to our community’s most valuable natural asset. We’re all here because of the many benefits this beautiful river has given and continues to provide to us.”

Cleanup Volunteers can choose to assist with the cleanup in the river and parks, or paddle stretches of the river via canoe and search for tires. Volunteers should wear old clothes and shoes so that they can walk in the river. Tires collected from the river by volunteers will be recycled free of charge, courtesy of the Shiawassee County Health Department.  Community members who wish to recycle old tires (not from the river) can bring them to the Shiawassee County Road Commission on July 30th, from 8 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.  

Tires will be accepted for a fee of $2 per car/truck tire without rims, and $3 for tires with a rim.  Semi-truck tires will be accepted for a fee of $5 each without a rim, and $10 dollars for each tire with a rim.  No tractor tires will be accepted.  Arrangements for advance tire donation and storage can be made by calling Shiawassee County Health Department at (989) 743-2392.

For more information about this event, contact the Friends of the Shiawassee River at ShiawasseeRiver.org,  on the Friends’ Facebook page, by calling (989) 723-9062, or sending an email to info@shiawasseeriver.org.  The Shiawassee County Health Department can be contacted by calling (989) 743-2392, or by visiting their website, http://health.shiawassee.net/Environmental-Health.  The Health Department is also on Facebook.

Michigan’s Volunteer River, Stream and Creek Cleanup Program began in 1998 and has been funded through various public acts. Since 2001, funds for this program have originated from the sale of the state’s water quality protection license plates.  Grants are administered by the Great Lakes Commission, under contract with the Department of Environmental Quality.  These grants help foster local stewardship and a sense of community while protecting Michigan’s waters.  Additional information on the VRSCCP program is available online at www.glc.org/streamclean or by e-mailing Laura Kaminski, Great Lakes Commission, at laurak@glc.org, or Bill Dimond, DEQ, at dimondw@michigan.gov.



The mission of the Shiawassee County Health Department is to prevent disease, protect the health of the public and enhance the quality of life for Shiawassee County residents by providing information and services.  The Environmental Health Division’s broad objective is to provide a means of safeguarding the environment.  This is necessary for the health and welfare of the users and all other persons in Shiawassee County. 

The Friends of the Shiawassee River is 501©3 nonprofit organization governed by a local board of directors and supported by a dedicated group of volunteers and generous donors.  The mission of the Friends is to help the community Care, Share, and Enjoy the Shiawassee River.  The Friends are committed to improving the environment, promoting the responsible use of, and enhancing the appreciation of the River throughout its watershed


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