Unlike a section tended by Carus Corp. at La Salle, the Department of Natural Resources reports much of the Illinois & Michigan Canal trail has not been adopted, and that there are stretches near every community that need to be cleaned and cared for.
“It’s a tremendous service to us and to the community,” said I&M Canal Site Superintendent Dan Bell. “We rely on volunteers to help keep this valuable resource clean.”
Continuing an 18-year tradition, Carus Corp. employees Kathy Rossi and Sherri Wittenauer picked up cans and wrappers along aLa Sallestretch of the trail in February, and another Carus group will be out in March to do the same.
“We go out each month in groups of two or three, and while being assigned a winter month isn’t ideal, it’s great to know we’re doing something positive for the community,” Rossi said. “It’s something Carus takes pride in. Even our CEO volunteers each year to walk our section of the trail and help keep it clean.”
Carus Corp. adoptedLa Salle’s Lock 14 recreational area, the docking point for the canal boat, in 1996, becoming one of the first organizations to join Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Adopt-A-Trail Program. Carus has sent volunteers out year-round to pick up litter and report damage ever since. More than 30 Carus employees have signed up to keep an eye on the canal in 2014.
“Carus sets a great example for organizations and individuals in theIllinoisValleyby setting aside time each month to devote to the canal,”Bellsaid. “We hope that with spring around the corner, others decide to do the same.”
For information on becoming part of the Adopt-A-Trail Program, call IDNR at (815) 942-0796.