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Before and After: River Shoreline Cleanup at Rock Run Rookery



A trip to Rock Run Rookery Preserve in Joliet can often be an eye-opening experience into the amount of plastic that is littering local waterways, but thanks to the efforts of a small army of volunteers, the preserve is looking quite amazing right now.

The River Shoreline Cleanup event on Saturday, April 27 brought out some hardy souls for the painstaking task of picking up trash — mostly small bits of plastic — all along the shoreline.

Rock Run Rookery Preserve is unique among the District's preserves in that much of the garbage seen along the shoreline comes from the Des Plaines River. 

"When the Des Plaines River floods, the rookery floods," said Erin Ward, an interpretive naturalist at the District's Four Rivers Environmental Education Center. "Some of the trash in the river flows into the rookery during flooding periods, and then the water recedes and trash is left behind."

UPCOMING VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Plastic floats and can travel great distances, and complicating the issue further is that plastic never goes away. It merely breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces.

On Saturday, pieces big and small were removed from the preserve, enough to fill 10 large garbage bags. 

Take a look at the remarkable transformation.

Move the slider below on the interactive photo.

(Interactive feature may take a few seconds to load)

News

Lockport Prairie Closed Due to Flooding

5/22/2019

The nature preserve, which serves as flood control, is closed on Wednesday, May 22, and will reopen when waters recede.

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Memorial Day Weekend Schedule

5/22/2019

Due to the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 27, all Forest Preserve visitor centers — with the exception of Monee Reservoir — will be closed.

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Forest Preserve Police Continue Fundraising Efforts for Special Olympics

5/21/2019

The team has already surpassed last year's fundraising goal and the Tip-A-Cop fundraiser is next up on May 25 in Homer Glen.

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