In a recent webinar from Daniel Boone Regional Library, Missouri River Relief taught families how to plan a creek cleanup.
"We know that fall is a good time to get outside and make a difference in your watershed and the weather's been beautiful," youth and community services manager Sarah Howard said. "That's why we invited Missouri River Relief to join us to share their expertise about picking up litter along your favorite creeks and neighborhoods."
The group has picked up nearly 940 tons of trash since 2001.
"All of this experience has taught us a thing or two about picking up trash that we want to share with you when you're planing your very own creek clean-up or neighborhood clean-up," Kristen Schulte of Missouri River Relief said.
Schulte joined the webinar from an actual creek, instead of an office or conference room.
The program educated young viewers of plastic litter, and suggested those exploring the outdoors bring a reusable sack with them to haul out any trash they might find when out and about.
For planned clean-up trips, close toed shoes, gloves, safety vests and even life jackets are recommended.
Those picking up litter should look out for dangerous items like needles and syringes or broken glass.
If volunteers find anything hazardous, Schulte recommends contacting the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Missouri River Relief also provides advice for those planning a clean-up.
Schulte said the group has in the past coordinated with local businesses to use their dumpsters when a lot of trash has been collected.
"The question that often comes up is what are some ways that you can stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic during a creek clean-up?" Anna Miller of Missouri River Relief said.
Schulte said spending time outside is important. She recommended staying in small groups, keeping distance between volunteers, frequently washing hands and wearing a mask.
"Literally you can walk right out your front door because unfortunately, trash is kind of everywhere," Schulte said. "You don't have to do specifically a creek clean-up — you could do a clean-up in your neighborhood."
Howard also shared book recommendations for young readers interested in the Missouri River, such as historical and environmental reads. The full list can be found at bit.ly/33oHZmY.
This article was edited at 1 p.m. Oct. 5, 2020, to correct the spelling of Kristen Schulte's name.