The Illinois River Sweep takes place this Saturday, people from communities all along the river and its tributaries will work together to clean up the waterways.
Pat Sullivan, has been the “Sweep Captain” for the Macomb section of the Lamoine River for several years.
She said turnout has grown from around a dozen people to around 50 or 60 in the past few years thanks to more active participation from student groups at WIU. Sullivan said increased outreach at WIU's Horn Field Campus has helped attract more students.
She said she hopes even people who do not participate take notice.
"So that even if people don't help they at least hear about, hey people are out there actually picking up garbage," Sullivan said.
Sullivan said the group collected around 20 bags of garbage last year as well as some things that could not fit into bags like bikes and engine parts.
She said WIU is supplying the garbage bags and gloves for the event.
As part of the Illinois River Sweep, cleanups will also take place in Havana, Brown County and in the Peoria area.