MARSHALL -?Since 2006, Southwest Minnesota State University students and faculty have partnered with Archer Daniels Midland to clean up the banks and surrounding area of the Redwood River where it runs through Marshall. Tuesday was bright, sunny, and warm, perfect weather for the 60-odd volunteers to gather trash and litter along the river's edge.
"We try to do this activity as part of Earth Week as part of our responsibility to the environment," said ADM plant manager Mike Pasquariello.
The activity is part of the state Department of Natural Resources Adopt-A-River program and is modeled after highway cleanup projects where organizations adopt a section of highway to keep clean.
Photo by Steve Browne
Southwest Minnesota State University students and faculty, and community volunteers divided into teams led by personnel from Archer Daniels Midland to clean up the banks of the Redwood River in Marshall on Tuesday.
Lucas Youngsma is the area hydrologist for the DNR's Marshall office.
"It's mostly about the land ethic," Youngsma said. "It's a small part, and every cumulative bit helps."
SMSU's participation was organized by Dr. Emily Deaver, professor of environmental science,
"It's really important to take care of our local environment," Deaver said. "I think it's important for the students to connect with ADM, an important local industry. And it instills a stewardship ethic in students."
While the cause was worthy and the effort worthwhile, the volunteers mostly seemed to enjoy a chance to get out in the sunny and warm weather.
Asked why she was there, Sujeeta Maskey, a junior from Nepal majoring in biology, just laughed and said, "Because Dr. Deaver is giving us extra credit."
Anil Pandey, a biology and chemistry major also from Nepal, laughed and then turned serious.
"We're getting extra points, but the important thing is the river passes through our town and we're using it and getting the benefit from it," he said.