Park clean up removes more than 100 pounds of litter

 Illinois Master Gardener Bonnie Grace removed 102 pounds of litter from Fort Defiance State Park in Cairo Dec. 3.

Grace worked on the clean-up effort with University of Illinois Extension program coordinator Kimberly Rohling.  

This was the last scheduled clean-up for the year. Styrofoam, fishing line, plastic containers and glass bottles were commonly encountered along the rip-rap shoreline of the confluences of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers at Cairo.  

During 2021, Extension volunteers visited sites to collect trash for proper disposal.  

Collectively, volunteers removed 288 pounds of trash from state sites, including: 

Giant City State Park (32 pounds of microtrash), Ferne Clyffe State Park (10 pounds of microtrash), Cache River State Natural Area (62 pounds), Horseshoe Lake Fish and Wildlife Area (82 pounds) and Fort Defiance State Park (102 pounds).  

These clean-up events were supported by a partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, IDNR, and University of Illinois Extension.  

Appreciation was voiced to all of the participants who made 2021 trash blasts at IDNR sites a success.  

Master Gardener and Master Naturalist trash blast clean-up events provide the opportunity for volunteers to become directly involved with a global litter problem and reconnects them with nature.  

Master Naturalist training is scheduled to begin Jan. 27, 2022.

Applications are due Friday, Jan. 14, and can be found online at under the Steps for Joining tab.  

Rohling can be contacted by email at for more information.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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