Volunteers Clean-up The Confluence

April 2008

On April 12, over 150 volunteers helped with a Confluence clean-up of the Mississippi River near the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge. 2.71 tons of trash, 55 tires and 1170 bags of trash and debris were removed and shrubs were planted at the Bridge entrance. Lara Cohen, Confluence Project Director stated, “this clean-up was a great opportunity for people to get out and enjoy The Confluence while helping with some much-needed habitat restoration in the heart of our St. Louis bi-state area.”

Community leaders of all ages joined forces on April 11 to create a more environmentally responsible St. Louis region. More than 225 leaders (ages 16 through 60-something) got their hands dirty hauling, planting, and weeding to restore a delicate river’s edge habitat.

“The goal of the project is not only to restore a parcel of Mississippi Riverfront habitat but also to inspire our bi-state region’s leaders to share their learning and enthusiasm with other community leaders,” said Chris Chadwick, executive director of FOCUS St. Louis, the nonprofit providing the volunteer workforce for the day’s project.

The restoration was accomplished by members of the two FOCUS year-long leadership programs, Leadership St. Louis (LSL) and Youth Leadership St. Louis (YLSL). This year’s LSL and YLSL class members worked under the guidance of Laura Cohen, Project Manager of Confluence Greenway, and Doug Eller, Program Director of Grace Hill Settlement House. This project marks the first time in a decade that members of the LSL and YLSL programs are combining forces in community service. While LSL serves as a national model and the region’s premier leadership training program for established and emerging community leaders, YLSL trains outstanding high school juniors from public, private, and parochial schools throughout the bi-state region.

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