Volunteers Needed for Nahant Marsh Clean Up - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Volunteers Needed for Nahant Marsh Clean Up

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With absolutely beautiful weather in the forecast, organizers of Saturday morning's annual spring clean up at Nahant Marsh are expecting a great turnout of volunteers.

Anyone helping out will have their work cut out for them after such a long winter.

These days, spring is in the air at the Nahant Marsh. The sun is out, the birds are singing, and the snow has finally finished melting.

But, with that blanket of white now gone from the ground, the picture that had been hiding underneath is not exactly pretty:

"There's quite a bit of debris. It's been a long winter and, you know, just stuff blows in from the interstate," said Brian Ritter, Director of the Nahant Marsh.

Cleaning up that trash will be one of several tasks for community members to take care of during Saturday morning's spring clean up.

Volunteers of all ages will also be clearing out invasive brush from the marsh and planting native trees and brush along the railroad berm.

And, they'll be making big strides in restoring the sand prairie area.

"We've been working on clearing trees out of this site for several months now and we're ready to plant tomorrow, so we've got over a thousand plants that we're going to be planting in here," Ritter told us on Friday evening.

All of it is important work to keep the Nahant Marsh beautiful - and educational - in the future.

"There's very few places like this left. If you consider, over 90 percent of the wetlands that once existed in Iowa are now gone, and the fact that this one is right here in city limits - it's the largest urban wetland on the upper Mississippi River," Ritter said, "The fact that this is here in the Quad Cities, it's worth saving."

And taking care of this community gem is something that takes a community-wide effort and commitment.

"The volunteer work is what keeps this place thriving. We've always relied heavily on volunteers," Ritter said.

So, when it comes to spring cleanup at the Nahant Marsh this weekend, the more volunteers the better.

"All experience levels, we'll find a job for you," Ritter said.

If you'd like to help out at the Nahant Marsh clean up, you are more than welcome.

It's happening from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 12, 2014 -- rain or shine.

Volunteers are asked to show up a couple minutes early, bring water bottles, and wear clothes that they are fine getting dirty in.

Parking is limited, so if you can carpool, you're advised to do so.

The Wapsi River Environmental Education Center is also holding a volunteer work day Saturday.

The event runs from 9 a.m to noon, and there will be jobs to suit all ability levels, doing some spring cleaning around the area.

At 1 p.m., the center is hosting a blue bird house building workshop.

You'll need to call (563)328-3286 ahead of time to reserve a spot for either or both activities at the Wapsi Center.

There is no need to make reservations for volunteers wanting to help out at the Nahant Marsh on Saturday.

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