Jessica Mathews /

Volunteers are being sought for Hamburg Township’s Annual Huron River Clean-Up Day.

Tasks to be performed involve removing fallen trees and debris from the river and river bank areas to improve the water flow, which in turn helps prevent flooding and improves navigation of the Huron River.

The event will take place next Saturday, July 23rd from 8am to 1pm.

It’s a collaborative effort between the township and Freedom River, a non-profit founded by the river clean-up team leaders Jeff and Janna Yeakey. Freedom River is a project to build a retreat center for veterans and their families on a 94.5-acre parcel off Winans Lake Road.

The clean-up event will focus on the section of the Huron River between Ore Lake and Strawberry Lake. Over the years, all kinds of things have been pulled out of the river including stoves, grills, tires and bed springs.

Jeff Yeakey says there were four floods last summer and the water was really high so there’s been a lot of trees and other debris coming down – which is impeding the flow of the river and becoming a nuisance, along with algae and weeds. However, he says the level has been lower this year, which is good for taking pontoons and boats up and down the river.

Yeakey tells WHMI things float down the river and get hung up, creating blockages that can get really smelly and become an eyesore but are also not good for wildlife. He says the goal is to get everything opened up and clean out debris while improving wildlife habitats. Yeakey also noted that the township is looking to do some weed harvesting prior to the event so they can get a good look at the river bed.

In addition to volunteers, also needed for the event are rowboats, old pontoon workboats, chainsaws and ropes, work/rubber gloves, waders and lifejackets.

Organizers say all volunteers should dress appropriately for the weather conditions and the tasks being performed. They recommend bringing mosquito repellant, sunscreen, and a life jacket – noting waders and gloves are needed for some tasks. An extra change of clothing is also suggested.

Volunteers can pre-register or just show up on the day of the event, which Janna Yeakey says is family-friendly and a great way to bring the community together.

The marshaling location is at the Livingston County Wildlife & Conservation Club, located at 6060 East M-36.

More information is available in the provided link.