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Great Bend man organizes river cleanup
ark river access
The Arkansas River access at Stone Lake is shown in this undated file photo. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Alex Holste says he enjoys hanging out with friends on the Arkansas River but he’s tired of looking at all of the trash. In an effort to change that, he’s inviting people to come out to the Stone Lake area on Friday, Saturday or Sunday morning to join a volunteer clean-up effort.

Holste said they’ll try to start around 8 a.m. He is considering doing this every weekend for the rest of the month.

“I think it will be good for the community,” the Great Bend man said. He recalled that the GB River Rats, a group of all-terrain vehicle enthusiasts, have done this in the past but he doesn’t think there’s been an organized cleanup on the Ark for a couple of years.

Holste said he and his friends used to come to that part of the river on a regular basis but have moved on because of all of the trash, tires and mattresses being dumped there. “This is not a landfill,” he said.

That prompted him to post a plea for help on Facebook:

“I am organizing a river cleanup crew. We need 70 to 80 people,” he posted. “Over the last two years the river has become a dumping ground to people who don’t care about it. If you care about the river the way we do let me know. You can text me at 620-617-6324.” In response to a few questions, he added, “Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Bring trucks and trailers.”