A chance to have some fun and help the environment will be offered Saturday, Aug. 24, during an annual cleanup of the Olentangy River in Delaware.

Caroline Cicerchi, Delaware's city watershed coordinator, said those who volunteer for the cleanup seem to enjoy it, even as they pull tires, shopping carts, vehicle parts and scrap metal from the river.

"It's always fun for them to help the environment, give back to the community, and possibly run into some wildlife along the way, such as fish or turtles," she said.

The event is coordinated by Delaware's Public Utilities Department, Keep Delaware County Beautiful and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

This year's event will be from 10 a.m. to noon. Volunteers will gather at the city's wastewater-treatment plant, 225 Cherry St.

Close-toed shoes must be worn, and participants are encouraged to wear waders if they have them, as they will not be provided. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. All volunteers will receive a T-shirt.

Litter-grabbers will be provided by Keep Delaware County Beautiful.

Volunteers will move by foot along the banks and within the Olentangy River, Cicerchi said. The event would be postponed only if heavy rains raise the river to an unsafe level, she said.

She said volunteer registration is open until Friday, Aug. 23. To register, email Cicerchi at ccicerchi@delawareohio.net.

"We have about 20 volunteers signed up, including one large group of Ohio Wesleyan students," she said last week.

Last year, two different groups collected 1,260 pounds of trash from the river and Delaware Run, she said.

Odd items pulled from the river in recent years have included a pair of crutches and a child-size pedal car, she said.

"We are so fortunate to have the Olentangy watershed in the city of Delaware, and we must all do our part to keep it vibrant and healthy," said Jenifer Way-Young, Keep Delaware County Beautiful coordinator. "Thank you to the city of Delaware and all the volunteers that make this possible."

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