- Associated Press - Saturday, June 6, 2015

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - The Missouri River between Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Omaha, Nebraska, is in for a spring cleaning this month.

Three groups - Missouri River Relief of Columbia, Missouri, and Back to the River and Fontenelle Forest, both of Omaha - will team up for the cleanup project on June 13, the Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reported (http://bit.ly/1KgOhET ).

The groups will gather at Lake Manawa State Park boat ramps in Council Bluffs, with the cleanup running from 9 a.m. until noon.

Organizers will provide volunteers with gloves, trash bags, an event T-shirt and reusable water bottle. Volunteers are encouraged to wear appropriate work clothing, including boots or tennis shoes and long pants to protect against poison ivy. Volunteers are also encouraged to bring sunglasses, sunscreen and bug spray and warned that they will get muddy.

“This project improves the attractiveness of the river, removes man-made eyesores, and also gives individuals an opportunity to come to the river, experience what the river’s like and better understand how important it is to both Nebraska and Iowa,” said Larry Foster, president of Back to the River.

Back to the River is a nonprofit organization made up of representatives from governments, other nonprofits neighborhood groups and others on both sides of the Missouri River.

Missouri River Relief is a nonprofit organization that coordinates cleanups from Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota to St. Louis, where the Missouri Rivers meets the Mississippi River. The organization says it has brought together more than 21,000 volunteers to haul away more than 801 tons of garbage in more than 30 river communities.

Fontenelle Forest, a 1,400-acre forest preserve on the river near Bellevue, Nebraska, will also host informational boat rides on the river on June 14.

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Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, http://www.nonpareilonline.com

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