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DNR Question of the Week: March 14

From the DNR Question fo the week archives. 

From Paul E. Nordell

DNR Adopt-a-River Program Coordinator


After a long winter, Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, ditches, ravines, ponds and wetlands are in need of a good cleaning to remove accumulated garbage. Does the Department of Natural Resources have a program where people can volunteer to help clean public waters, and if so, what does it involve?


The DNR’s Adopt-a-River Program helps volunteers organize their own cleanup by providing a free “how-to” kit, bags and gloves, recognition for their effort and other assistance as needed. An annual cleanup is required, but many people decide to do cleanups several times per year.

Although adopting does not give property rights to those who adopt stretches of a shoreline, it does help develop a sense of responsibility and participation in the welfare of their community and public waters. Since 1989, there have been nearly 2,900 cleanups involving more than 80,000 volunteers. They have removed 5.8 million pounds of rubbish on almost 10,000 miles of shoreline.

More information is available at