Dragoon River Romp Ongoing Effort to Keep Des Moines River Trash-Free

BOONE, Iowa  --  This weekend will mark over a decade of the Dragoon River Romp, an effort to cleanup a stretch of the Des Moines River near Boone.

“We started back in 2006 with a $1,000 grant from the DNR called Project Aware,” said Lois Powers, administrator of the Boone County Landfill and Recycling Center. “We started that, we didn't know if people would want to do it or not, and we ended up with over 100 volunteers the first year.”

Since then, attendance has been around 70 people each year. This year there are 40 people signed up to go down the river in kayaks and canoes to pick up trash. Seven Oaks Recreation will provide the canoes and transport the crews to where they need to go.

“A lot of tires, the tonnage of tires is just beyond me. In the early years, we just figured probably farmers used tires for erosion control along there,” said Powers.  “But continually we'll get over a ton of tires almost every year.”

The cleanup is a good thing for the Central Iowa Paddlers, a group of enthusiasts of kayaks and canoes on rivers in Iowa.

“My issue is that I hate to see trash anywhere,” said Robin Fortney, Founder of Central Iowa Paddlers. “People dump trash out by bridges, sometimes we'll see electronics just below bridges. It's unfortunate because there's better ways to handle trash.”

The Dragoon Romp is closed for registration this year, but there are other cleanups at rivers all over Iowa. Click here for more information.

Here is a link to the Central Iowa Paddlers' Facebook page.