Byron, Illinois - Oregon's Frank Masterman has a dream to recruit volunteers to clean the entire 285 miles of the Rock River from Horicon, Wisconsin to Rock Island, Illinois Exelon Nuclear's Byron Station is excited to help him make that happen.
On Tuesday, April 13 Byron Station donated $10,000 to the inaugural Great Rock River Sweep event, which will be held in dozens of communities on Saturday, July 31. The station will also supply volunteers to a pair of "Section Coordinators" who will be assigned to the Oregon and Byron areas of the river.
Byron Station Site Vice President Dan Enright said when he heard about Masterman's idea he knew it was a perfect opportunity for the station and its employees to improve the environment.
"The Rock River is an important part of the eco-system for countless communities and is a vital resource for our plant," Enright said. "We are excited to provide both volunteers and monetary help to such a great event."
Enright joined Masterman and Lee Butler on Tuesday at the Rock River's edge in Oregon to help promote the event. Butler is the secretary of the Illinois Paddling Council - co-sponsors of the 2010 Great Rock River Sweep.
"Frank's idea has blossomed into a major affair not only for our area but also for this section of the Midwest," Enright said. "I hope the communities along the river join in what is sure to be an exciting and uplifting day. It's great to have a chance to make such an important impact on a large environmental project."
Masterman is working to get Section Coordinators in each town along the river. These coordinators will help organize the volunteers in their respective communities and will provide direction on the cleaning of the river's banks and mid-section.
"On behalf of Rock River Sweep.org I wish to express our heartfelt thanks to Exelon and the Byron Generating Station for their generous contribution," Masterman said. "This contribution will help our effort to get the word out about this endeavor.
"Individual volunteers in boats, canoes, kayaks or afoot can register in their local community. We have Section Coordinators on board in Horicon and Watertown, Wis., along with other areas including Oregon and Prophetstown, Ill. We are presently recruiting Coordinators for the remainder of the communities along the river."
Those interested in volunteering for the event on clean-up day or wishing to join as Section Coordinators can visit www.rockriversweep.org for more information.