Locals Work To Clean Up Rockton To Help Save Wildlife

- ROCKTON – Trash bags, gloves, and more gloves are among the clean-up supplies carried by volunteers who take it upon themselves to keep the riverbank clean.

But, the volunteers who showed up to the Rockton Millrace Isle on Thursday to clean the water of trash and debris did not find anything to put in those trash bags.

“We came out here and we were like oh my gosh, it’s clean” said Toni Murray, a volunteer who was prepared to clean the park.

The Stateline volunteers are part of the Hoo Haven Wildlife Group and say that the portion of the river at Rockton's Millrace Isle was covered in garbage four weeks ago, and the debris was threatening Stateline wild life.

“Cans, bottles, wrappers, things like that, [were] thrown all about the area,” said Stephanie Franchini-Osberg, who organized the clean up.

The concern with trash left untended is that animals will be injured by it, either by consumption or becoming trapped. “Hoo Haven, during the summer, traditionally sees a lot more animals come in with fishing line injuries and the animals don’t always make it.” Said Franchini-Osberg.

The Rockton Millrace has been a community friendly venue for years, being the host of family outings and picnics.  Now some residents are claiming that it has become an area where people are attacking geese - becoming enough of a nuisance to attract the attention of the Rockton Police Department. 

“We should be able to share their natural habitat with them and not litter and do things that cause them harm,” says Franchini-Osberg.

During the past several weeks the Village of Rockton has been notified about the trash collecting in the river, and the volunteers believe that the village may have cleaned the area.

“That’s [ultimately] the outcome we want, and hopefully it will be maintained,” Franchini-Osberg said.

The Hoo Haven volunteers are working to keep the community and the wild life safe one day at a time.

“We just want to do everything we can to help the community.  It is our community too," says Toni Murray.  "We just hope they will listen.”

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