Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

2 guys have pulled 1,157 pounds of trash out of the Minnesota River

And they're not even halfway through their trip.

If you know someone named Millie in western Minnesota who's looking for her bowling ball, tell her Paul Twedt and Michael Anderson found it. And it floats.

Twedt and Anderson found it on the Minnesota River last week, along with half a ton of other junk they've pulled from its waters since July 3. And they're almost half done.

The founders of the Adventure Stewardship Alliance are paddling three of Minnesota's proudest rivers this year, liberating litter along the way. Their Three Rivers Project of 2017 is taking them down the St. Croix, Minnesota, and Mississippi Rivers. That's 1,200 miles of water and the pounds of trash will be a much larger number by the time they're done.

Anderson and Twedt paddled the St. Croix in June and, as the map shows, they actually started in Wisconsin on the Namekagon River which flows into the St. Croix. Their 237 mile journey took 15 days and they collected 736 pounds of trash.

They're on pace to more than double that trash total on the Minnesota, including lots of Styrofoam, tires, a sunken raft, and a Weber grill, their daily log shows.

They'll follow the Minnesota all the way to the Twin Cities. Then after a break they'll tackle the Mississippi in September and October, covering more than 600 miles from Lake Itasca to Winona.

Why are they doing this?

The Adventure Stewardship Alliance explains that their mission is twofold: connect with nature and inspire people to be good stewards of wild places.

Their connection with nature is clear in many of the photos they take, like the gallery from their first five days on the Minnesota.

Paul Twedt has plenty of practice cleaning up hiking trails through his work with the group Pack It Out, which he co-founded, Gear Junkie notes.

He and Anderson have taken to the water this year, though, in lightweight canoes built by Urban Boatbuilders of St. Paul.

As far as inspiring stewardship, Twedt put it this way to the Duluth News Tribune:

"We want everybody to view adventuring and getting outdoors and experiencing place with a stewardship ethic. Where you are not only going out there to leave no trace, you are going out there to leave it better than you found it. Leaving a positive trace.''

You can keep up with the Three Rivers Project on the Adventure Stewardship Alliance Facebook page.

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov

2nd period surge leads Wild to fourth straight win

With three goals in the second, the Wild blasted the last-place Coyotes.

Gopher Basketball / R.J. Stephens

Late-tip in helps Gophers pass first big test, improve to 6-0

Luke Loewe's bucket with 2.4 seconds remaining helped the Gophers stay undefeated.

ambulance

Man, 40, found dead stuck in air duct at his Otter Tail Co. home

The discovery was made by family members Monday morning.

Biden Minnesota visit stream screengrab - 11.30.31

What Biden said during his visit to Minnesota Tuesday

The president spoke at Dakota County Technical College.

Grand Marais

Cook County registers its first COVID-19 death of the pandemic

The sparsely populated, highly-vaccinated county has continuously had one of the lowest rates of COVID in the state.

Waits family screengrab CNN

Support for MN family after anti-maskers target child of school board chair

An online group opposing Kelsey Waits outed the child as transgender.

Pixabay - school - classroom

St. Paul schools add 2 days to winter break due to pandemic stress

The added days off are meant to acknowledge the stress the pandemic has caused.

Fardoussa Abdillahi

Charges: St. Cloud mother killed baby, placed him in dumpster

The 4-month-old baby was found by officers on Sunday morning.

ambulance

1 dead in crash at Lake Street intersection in south Minneapolis

There have been 465 deaths on Minnesota roads this year, according to the state's traffic division.

robbery

St. Paul restaurateur's businesses burglarized a 6th time

The owner of The Gnome and Hope Breakfast Bar is asking politicians to help St. Paul business owners.

North Memorial Air Care

Teen suffers life-threatening injuries in head-on crash in southern MN

The 18-year-old was airlifted to a Mayo Clinic hospital in Rochester.

foo fighters grohl mr rossi wikimedia

Foo Fighters abruptly cancel Gophers stadium show hours after announcing it

The band is looking for a new venue because of a disagreement over COVID protocols.

Related

This runner is pushing his son's wheelchair from Minnesota to Louisiana

Along the way they're dropping off running chariots for other children with disabilities.

This runner is pushing his son's wheelchair from Minnesota to Louisiana

Along the way they're dropping off running chariots for other children with disabilities.

Minnesota's namesake river is a mess

A new study from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency found several water quality issues.

Residents were sick of all the trash – so they dumped it at city hall

The trash had been sitting there for months, but officials couldn't decide on who should clean it up.

Residents were sick of all the trash – so they dumped it at city hall

The trash had been sitting there for months, but officials couldn't decide on who should clean it up.

Video: I tried to go trash-free for 2 weeks

Is gum compostable? And where can I buy meat?