I am the USRC. The USRC I am. Would you like to volunteer?
Volunteering! Volunteering! I do not like to volunteer!
Would you, could you with the USRC?
I would not, could not with the USRC. I do not like to volunteer.
Would you, could you on a boat? This past year USRC members were on the river as early as January on a 50 degree day with ice still on the water. The clarity of the river was amazing with schools of carp, some well over a foot long plainly visible.
Later in the year, volunteers worked to make the river safer for anyone who paddles the river by opening passages around fallen trees and logs and then conducted a major river cleanup this past August. And we also get out there just for the enjoyment of it, too.
Would you, could you, on a boat?
I would not, could not, on a boat. I do not like to volunteer.
How about on your feet, along the highway? In April, the USRC assumed the stewardship of a 2 mile section of Highway 47 through the Illinois Department of Transportation’s unfortunately named “Adopt a Highway” program. We get out and clean the highway three times a year, on the assumption that what goes into a draining ditch along the highways will probably end up in the Sangamon River sooner or later.
Would you, could you along the highway?
I would not, could not along the highway, nor on a boat. I do not like to volunteer!
Would you, could you, on a bridge? In April and May, USRC volunteers grabbed their tools and worked to repair, clear brush, and maintain the nearly 120 year old Hazen Bridge on County Road 2600. This historic bridge is one of the few sites in our area on the National Register of Historic Places, yet it has been suffering from years of neglect and a lack of stewardship.
Would you, could you, on a bridge?
I would not, could not on a bridge, not along the highway, nor in a boat. I do not like to volunteer!
Would you help us build a house? Later in the Spring, with the help of Eagle Scout Zach Williams of Champaign and with the cooperation of riverside property owners, USRC volunteers installed several wood duck boxes along the riparian corridors of the Sangamon River. USRC volunteers continue to construct, place and monitor bluebird houses in the riparian corridors along the river as well.
Would you help us build a house?
I would not, could not build a house. I would not, could not on a bridge, nor along the highway, nor in a boat. I do not like to volunteer!
Would you, could you help search for bugs, or dig up mussels? This summer, the USRC continued to monitor the Sangamon River and several tributaries for macroinvertabrate species (aka: tiny bugs) that indicate the health of the water. The USRC also led a mussel survey this past week as part of “It’s Our River Day” at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve. We found 311 mussels and 14 different species on a short stretch of the river!
Would you, could you help search for bugs? Dig for mussels?
I would not, could not search for bugs, or dig up mussels, nor build a house. Not on a bridge, nor along the highway, nor in a boat. I do not like to volunteer!
Would you could you from your house, on your computer with your mouse? The USRC has an active website, Facebook page, and is always developing slide shows, presentations, and reviewing data and information about water quality. We always need people to help with running a large organization, such as member communications, PR, and accounting.
Would you, could you with your mouse?
I would not, could not, with my mouse, nor looking for bugs, nor digging up mussels. Not building a house and not on a bridge. Not along the highway, nor in a boat. I do not like to volunteer!
Would you, could you with a rubber duck? Along with Mahomet Parks and Recreation, the USRC conducted a rubber duck race on the Sangamon River. The group secured prizes from local businesses and together with Parks and Rec volunteers sold over 450 rubber duck sponsorships for the big race. And best of all, the big winner this year was the Mahomet Area Youth Club!
Would you, could you with a duck?
I would not, could not with a duck, not with my mouse, nor search for bugs, nor dig up mussels. I would not, could not help build a house, not on a bridge, nor by the highway, nor in a boat. I do not like to volunteer!
You do not like it, so you say. But try it, try it, and you may.
If you promise to let me be, I will try it, you will see….
I like the Sangamon River! And I do like the USRC! And I would volunteer in a boat, and along the highway, and take care of a bridge, and build birdhouses! And I would search for bugs, and dig up mussels, and with a rubber duck and I would help them from my house with my mouse.
I do so like volunteering, now I see! Thank you, thank you, USRC!
The USRC welcomes all volunteers who would like to help steward the Sangamon River in any capacity (or all)! Visit our website at www.sangamonriver.org.
Appeared as Notes from the River, Mahomet Citizen, September 20, 2012 by Scott Hays