Help Glen Ellyn Park District “Sweep the River” in May!

Posted on: April 4, 2018

The DuPage River and its tributaries are home to many varieties of fish, waterfowl, and other creatures who are at risk due to pollution and the presence of trash that litters the shorelines. Each May, The Conservation Foundation partners with local communities to remove trash from the waterways.

Since 1991, the annual DuPage County River Sweep has eliminated a total of approximately 270 tons of trash, thanks to the planning and coordination of local Forest Preserve Districts, Park Districts, Municipalities, and The Conservation Foundation. The annual Sweep’s success is also due to the many volunteers who come ready to lend a hand.

In 2017, more than 600 volunteers participated throughout DuPage County, removing approximately six tons of debris from over 65 miles of shoreline along the river and its tributaries, including streams and ponds. Detritus of all kinds was discovered, including a bicycle, tires, lawn chairs, a custom golf bag, and soccer, tennis, and beach balls.

“People don’t like to see trash littering our land,” said Renae Frigo, Naturalist with the Glen Ellyn Park District. “I think many of us feel guilty for the negative impacts we create on our environment. Picking up trash is an easy way for us to fix some of the problems we create.”

With such a large area in need of cleanup, the conservation effort is divided into smaller, more manageable parts. “As a Community Liaison, I communicate with volunteers who want to help that day,” explained Frigo. “I make sure we have enough supplies, and I help coordinate on the day of the event.”

“Working along a shoreline can be challenging; there is a bit of an adventure with water clean-ups,” added Frigo. “Most people think it is fun, and they feel good about helping. If you’ve never done a water clean-up, expect to get wet and muddy. You can stay on the shoreline, but often trash is located in inconvenient locations, so it requires walking on uneven terrain, in the mud, and possibly in the water. Prior to starting, we go over safety protocol then distribute gloves, trash pickers, bags and buckets.”

Join the Glen Ellyn Park District on Saturday, May 19th from 9:00 am – Noon at the Churchill Woods Forest Preserve to help clean the shorelines along the DuPage River. Volunteers should be age 5 or older. “We encourage groups to participate,” said Frigo. “Scout troops, churches, service organizations, and high school clubs, but also families, couples, and individuals are welcome. Our site has about a mile of shoreline to cover, so having more volunteers allows us to do a more thorough job, and in less time.”

To register for the event (registration is required), please visit For additional information, please contact Renae Frigo at