Flowers aren’t the only things that grow in the spring.

Once the snow thaws, the region’s rivers, lakes and streams also see an influx of plastic bottles and other litter, which is why the Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC) The weekly cleaning schedule is so important.

This year’s annual program kicked off at 10 a.m. Wednesday and anyone wishing to help is invited to meet at Gerald N. Donovan Park in Sterling Heights.

CRWC program specialist Kaleigh Snoddy said they have a corps of volunteers who show up weekly, but ideally at least 10-20 volunteers are needed.

“We work with any age,” Snoddy said.

Parents and their children, seniors, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, high school students, anyone who wants to come and support the cleanup projects are welcome.

It is not necessary to register in advance, unless a large group wishes to participate.

Report at 10 a.m. and look for CRWC members. Volunteers are given gloves, pickers and bin bags and after being shown a general area to cover are left to work at their own pace.

“We’ve had church groups and even a family celebrating a birthday,” Snoddy said. “We were super proud to have them.”

Every Wednesday through November, volunteers will collect litter from local parks, green spaces and other areas along the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair. Over the past decade, nearly 4,000 people have volunteered to help pick up more than 97,000 pounds of trash, or the equivalent of 49 tons – seven adult African elephants or 20 mid-size SUVs of trash – in the Clinton River watershed during weekly cleanups.

“The thousands of volunteers who have participated in the Weekly Clean program have been instrumental in restoring the more than 760 square miles that the Clinton River watershed encompasses, pulling everything from a refrigerator to old farm equipment from the river,” acting Sue Kelsey said. executive director of the Clinton River Watershed Council. “This year, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Clinton River Watershed Council, we are also celebrating a decade of exceptional work that has been accomplished through programs such as weekly cleanups to improve the watershed for our generation and those to come. . ”

For those who can’t do the first cleanse, there are many more to come. Check out this weekly cleaning list through May at Macomb and Oakland county parks:

• 04/13 – River Woods Park in Auburn Hills

• 4/20 – Macomb Corners Park in Macomb Township.

• 27/04 – Walk on the Waterford River, Waterford

• 5/4 – Hawthorne Park, Pontiac

• 5/11 – Joseph Delia Park, Sterling Heights

• 5/18 – Brys Park, St. Clair Shores

• May 25 – Fire Park, Troy

The CRWC also works with Clinton River Canoe and Kayak to run monthly cleanups from June through August. Volunteers canoe or kayak down the Clinton River picking up trash along the way. Trash races are for ages 14 and up and registration is required.

To learn more about the Weekly Clean program, additional volunteer events, free training, education classes, and year-round family activities, visit crwc.org/events.