A group of kayakers recently took to the deep end riding along the DuPage River with a common purpose: to leave it and the shoreline cleaner than it was before they came.
It was all part of Trash Tuesday, an event put on by Naperville Kayak to motivate people to clean up along the river.
According to Naperville Kayak owner Troy Cooper, the idea behind Trash Tuesday is simple.
“We’ve done other things in the past to participate in cleaning up the river and we’ve been trying to figure out an easier way to do it without having to create a special event,” Cooper said. “So, we decided to take one of our weekdays, which is sometimes a little bit slower day, and just incorporate into our normal activity. It just was an easy simplified approach to do what we’ve been wanting to do for a long time.”
On Trash Tuesday patrons could earn a full refund on their river trip by collecting five pieces of trash. Items found ranged from big to small, including anything from a tire to a comb.
DuPage River Controversy
Cooper believes one of the keys to calming the recent wave of controversy over whether there should be public access to the DuPage River is for everyone to do their part and avoid leaving trash.
“I think there’s been a lot of discussion about things along the river, these public waterways and public lands, and I think any conversation around them is important,” Cooper said.
Serving the Community
Cooper would like to challenge more businesses to do their part and get involved in the causes that matter to the community.
“From an obvious feel-good standpoint doing the right thing, it’s really exciting,” Cooper said. “As a business owner and operator, you’re oftentimes thinking in terms of business. I think the world is shifting where we live in an age where the customers are driving our businesses much more than we are. They can dictate what they want more than we do. Customers want businesses that do these types of things.”
How to Get Involved
Visit Naperville Kayak’s website, Facebook and Instagram for information on Trash Tuesday events to be announced at a later date.
Though Naperville Kayak is now just open on weekends through the end of September, Cooper will continue encouraging kayakers to ride with an eye for the environment.
Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.
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