MSU’s Fisheries and Wildlife club (FW Club) hosted its second Red Cedar River clean up of the year on April 22 in honor of Earth Day.
Often partnered with MSU’s Sierra Club and The Outdoorsclub, there is a river clean up every fall and spring semester, President Molly Engelman said.
“Usually in the fall it is a lot bigger because we do it after football games… we like to give everyone the opportunity to get hands on experience on campus (to help) clean the environment. I think it is symbolic as much as it is effective. And we all get to come out as a community and spend time together, everyone loves going in the river chest deep,” Engelman said.
Members of the club and willing participants covered distance from the rapids to the baseball stadium.
People walking by had the chance to wear the offered waders and get the dirty job done. With trash collected from the morning to the afternoon, Engelman said, “I found a lawn chair, it is mostly garbage, vapes, or beer cans.” Last Fall Engelman’s greatest finds were Spin scooters—a popular form of transportation on campus.
“It’s not as bad as people would think… there’s never as much garbage as you would expect from a college campus,” Engelman said.
A positive report for the Earth, but not a reason to stop cleaning.
MSU Student Joe Lorenz said, “I soaked my left foot and I was only ankle deep.”
He highlights the level of acceptance one has to have before getting in the water—while letting his sock dry—some waders have holes and the trek down to the water isn’t the smoothest, although it is worth the experience.
In between clean-ups, there are other activities offered.
“The river is pretty cold, so we brought some things for people to do just to have some chill time…board games, Frisbees, and lots of snacks, ” said Habitat Chair Cassie Stone who emphasizes how the Red Cedar River clean up is just as much a social event as an environmental one.
“There is a lot going on today at MSU for Earth Day, but really Earth Day is everyday…it is everyday that we should be loving the earth,” says Social Chair Katryna Kemp. Kemp began promoting this event two weeks prior via social media and helped make it possible.
The first Earth Day was in 1970 created by Gaylord Anton Nelson—an American politician, environmentalist who served as U.S. senator and governor—to help promote and fix major environmental issues. April 22 marked the 53rd anniversary of Earth Day with many more to come.