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Lower Mississippi River Dispatch Vol 7 No 7

Mighty Quapaws initiate a year-long cleanup project on the Lower Mississippi River!!!

Thanks to a grant from the Kellogg Foundation through the Community Foundation of Northwestern Mississippi the Mighty Quapaw Apprentices of Quapaw Canoe Company will be cleaning up trash off the islands and landings of the Lower Mississippi River below the mouth of the Wolf River (Memphis) to the mouth of the Arkansas River (Rosedale), and all the way down the Mighty Miss to the Greenville Bends -- including any islands and landings we can get to near Walls, Tunica, Helena, Clarksdale, Alligator, Rena Lara, Snow Lake, Rosedale, Arkansas City and Mounds Landing. Volunteers welcomed. 1Mississippi River Citizens encouraged to participate. See below for more information. Who are the Mighty Quapaws? Mighty Quapaws are young men & women from the Mississippi Delta who are learning to build canoes & guide people on the wild waters of the Lower Mississippi River. We’ve been conducting cleanups for the past 2 weeks, but Saturday in Helena will be our first cleanup inviting public participation. Come have fun & help clean up!

Please join us for a:

Mighty Quapaw Cleanup of the Helena Harbor

Saturday, July 9, 2011 2-5pm

You could make a day out of it in Helena:


10am-2pm Helena Farmers Market -- Yummy!

2pm-5pm Cleanup Helena Harbor -- Cool!

5pm-8pm Cherry Street Arts & Music Walk -- Fun!

What: Mighty Quapaw Cleanup of the Helena Harbor

Where: Old Helena Harbor, in Downtown Helena

When: Saturday, July 9, 2011 2-5pm

How: Canoeing, Kayaking and Stand Up Paddleboard (or bring your own)

Rental Fee: One hour rentals: $25/person includes vessel, lifejacket & paddle

Special Offer: $5 Discount off rental fee if you collect and bring back a pile of trash with you. Help us keep the Helena Harbor Clean!

How do I get there? Walk, bike or drive to the Boat Launch near the Boardwalk in the Helena Harbor

Age: Under 18 must be accompanied by Parent or Adult Chaperone

Cold Water: $1 bottle or bring your own

Dress appropriately for hot sun and getting wet. Muddy landings. Wear shoes you don’t mind getting wet & muddy. Make sure your Tetanus Vaccination is current. Bring leather gloves. Wear sun hat and sun screen. Beware Heat Exhaustion.

Warning: Don’t place yourself in danger retrieving trash. Any toxic or hazardous materials will be reported to the US Coast Guard and Arkansas DEQ. Beware Heat Exhaustion, a serious condition that can lead to heat stroke.

Please use the Mighty Quapaw Cleanup Credo:

The Three “TCs”

Take Care of Yourself

Take Care of Others around you

Take Care of the River

(*Note: This is adopted from Mighty Quapaw Creed we call the 3 Rs, the “MQ Three Rules of Respect”).

Can we clean up the Harbor in one day? No, but this will be the first of many cleanup days this Summer previous to the King Biscuit Festival. This Fall and Winter we will concentrate on cleaning up Buck Island from the effects of the Great Flood of 2011.

For more information, please contact John Ruskey 662-902-7841 or John Fewkes 870-228-2266.

The Mighty Quapaw Apprenticeship Program is a skill-based program that employs a metaphorical “ladder” of specific benchmarks which apprentices climb step-by-step towards becoming canoe builders and river guides. The youth learn canoe building, canoe guiding, and survival and camping skills, with woodsman skills being added as a result of the 2011 flood teaching cutting and bucking timber, clearing brush, use of the handsaw, chainsaw and hoe along with trail clearing and trail making. The overall goals of The Mighty Quapaws include: taking care of yourself, team work, leadership, environmental stewardship and environmental ethics.

Mighty Quapaw Cleanup efforts will focus on clean up of public-use Landings to remove the debris after the water recedes; to clean up public-use Islands such as Buck Island and Choctaw Island and clear trails on public-use Islands. The project will salvage whatever is re-usable and recycle whatever is possible. This will also be a ‘Green’ cleanup using the giant voyageur style canoes for transportation and removal. “The only fossil fuels necessary will be in shuttling to the River and driving waste to recycling centers or the dump,” stated Ruskey. “Chainsaw use will be limited only to certain situations, such as an enormous log blocking a path. Primarily hands tools will be used”.

Flood: The timing of this project coincides with the fall of the Mississippi River out of its record breaking highs and the need for massive cleanup. It is also perfect timing with the end of the school year and the need to have youth stay engaged and involved during the summer months. The project will also continue as The Mighty Quapaws go back to school in the fall and participate through the after-school program.

The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi is a nonprofit charitable organization with the mission of connecting people who care with causes that matter. Through the generosity of more than 500 donors, it has contributed $5.2 million during the last six years to 200 nonprofit organizations in its eight-county region. The foundation’s priorities are education, health and children and youth. All donations to the Community Foundation are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. To learn more about the work of the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi connecting people who care with causes that matter go to or call 662.449.5002.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930, supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa. For further information on the foundation, please visit