By LAURA MUIR, KDLT
April 19, 2008
Around six dozen people are getting an early start on their Earth Day celebrations. The East River Sierra Club and the South Dakota Canoe and Kayacking Group are coming together to mix exercise with duty.It's a mixture of two groups with different missions. The South Dakota Canoe and Kayaking Group heads down the river for the sport.The Sierra Club works to keep parks and rivers clean.Derald Hallem of the Sierra Club says, "I like it...clean."That's why the groups have come together to head down the Big Sioux River to clean it up.The VP of the SD Canoe and Kayaking Group, Sharon Kelly says, "It's just a chance to get out and go canoeing and experience the river and streams during this earth day."The group starts North of Flandreau and floats down the river about nine miles.It's a four-hour trip but most find what they are doing to be their duty.Derald Hallem says, "I don't like going places that are full of garbage or see garbage in the river."The Sierra Club asks for a volunteer ten-dollar donation.They use the money raised for further cleaning and adding things like signs to drop sites for kayakers and canoers.But this isn't the only time or place they plan on picking up garbage. With seventy-five people, the group plans to take part in several other clean-up sessions throughout the state."The groups will be heading to Yankton Trails in a few weeks. Sharon Kelly says, "It's a chance to get out and really experience the river more than anything but also do a little work to it."As two groups combine their missions and their passions, rivers and streams in South Dakota will soon see a cleaner earth day.The groups are planning on doing one paddle event per month. If you would like more information you can visit this address: www.sdcka.blogspot.com.