A cleaner Whitewater


Felicity Knabenbauer

Volunteers posing in front of trash picked up from park and lake

Saving the environment makes a difference for Whitewater citizens. A group called Protect Whitewater Waterways along with the UW-W American Marketing Association (AMA) and many volunteers from town got together to clean up the local water. The organizations worked on the clean up of Trippe Lake, the Rock River and six other locations around Whitewater. Some volunteers did it simply to help make a difference for the environment and help the land and residents, while others did it to earn volunteer hours. 

“For ‘AMA’ at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, we have our CMU group which is a marketing firm for clients that need anything. Protect Wisconsin Waterways is one of our biggest clients. Today, around nine or ten municipalities are setting up a clean-up with that account. We are the Whitewater clean-up crew and we are doing whatever we can to keep the waterways clean,” said senior David Bethards, a major in marketing with a digital marketing emphasis. “This is great for volunteer hours for kids that need them as well as putting it on your resume. Today, we had a few people show up to volunteer however, it was a very successful day. I know bigger places like Janesville and Waupun are going to be two or three times as big.” 

The waterways cleanup happens every year to make a difference with the environment and making sure the land is clean. The organization Protect Wisconsin Waterways hopes to get more volunteers to clean up the areas in nine different locations.

“This is a collaboration between the Rock River Storm group that the city of Whitewater is a part of, along with nine other municipalities along the rock river. We are under a storm water permit and one of the requirements of that permit is to do city involvement so with the help of our students at the University that help us with marketing, they helped set this event up and do the marketing for it,” said Public Works Director Brad Marquardt. “We walked around for two hours and collected a number of bags. The volunteers worked really hard today. They took initiative and worked on their own by using a map of the area to go about and do a great job.” 

There were many who came to clean up. Some were part of the set up crew and some to clean up trash. As said some volunteers came to help the environment and others, but for some it was more personal. Some felt that they were not only picking up trash for the community, but for their home. 

“I lived here my entire life and I got tired of people complaining about the lake on how it looks and I decided to come out and pick up trash,” said volunteer Gio Anello, a high school senior. “I did it last year by myself and I picked up a bunch of bikes, an old railroad lamp and an iron that I found, so I wanted to see what else I could find. I live to volunteer as much as I can and try to help out the community.”