Listen: Earlier this week, Chery Nenn of Milwaukee Riverkeeper gave us a tour of the not-traveled-often-enough KK River as well as an overview of their work. This time she had a new preposition for me -- we go from on the river to in the river, checking out the hands-on side of their work with 2 of their 88 wonderful volunteers!
The Milwaukee River Basin Water Shed is so large, no single organization could ever keep track of everything, so Milwaukee Riverkeeper and the DNR rely upon diligent and trained volunteers like Tom and Phil to help them collect important data. To get my head wrapped around their volunteer work, it was best to actually get my feet wet too. So, we threw on waders and calibrated some equipment (actually, I'd never worn waders before and they did all the calibration), and hopped into the Milwaukee River at Hubbard Park to do some river monitoring:
If getting more involved with protecting our rivers has piqued your interest and you're thinking about getting involved, an important part of the story I didn't include -- outside of curiosity, you don't need to bring much to the table if you're interested in volunteering with Riverkeeper. Tom actually works with water professionally, but Phil got involved because he uses the river quite frequently and really enjoyed a Riverkeeper cleanup. A lot of benefit, not a lot of cost!
(Scroll down to see more photos from our afternoon on the river!)
To learn more about Milwaukee Riverkeeper, check out their website! Also they have plenty of events, and they're getting towards the end of cleanup season, so check out their calendar and clean some river with them!