Rouge Rescue Volunteers Remove 17,000 Gallons of Trash

Friends of the Rouge released their annual report on the Rouge Rescue this week.

A report released this week by Dearborn-based nonprofit shows the results of work done by volunteers during this June's Rouge Rescue.

The Rouge Rescue is an annual river clean up event organized by the non-profit organization. This past May and June, 1,759 volunteers worked to clean and restore the Rouge River at 41 work sites in Detroit and 21 metro Detroit suburbs. 

The report summarizes the volunteer accomplishments during the event and provides details of the work completed at each site.

Highlights from the Rouge Rescue

A great deal of work was accomplished by volunteers, according to Friends of the Rouge.

Trends over the past five years reveal less trash for volunteers to remove and an increase in restoration projects, such as invasive plant removal and native plantings. FOTR shared in a statement that restoration projects are especially important, as they have long term impacts and will help to improve water quality in the river.

Local Rouge Rescue Locations

Bloomfield Township

  • Coordinated by Dan Badgley, E.L. Johnson Nature Center, Charles Markus, Bloomfield Township.
  • 55 volunteers participated
  • A total of .6 cubic yards of trash were removed from a 1,500 linear foot section of the river; 1.2 cubic yards of garlic mustard and several trailer loads of buckthorn, honeysuckle and oriental bittersweet removed.
  • Mulched 450 feet of hiking trail spreading 25 cubic yards of mulch.

Bloomfield Hills


  • Coordinated by
  • 20 volunteers participated
  • 5.5 cubic yards of garlic mustard, honeysuckle and buckthorn removed from a 700 square-foot area.

Beverly Hills

Douglas Evans Nature Preserve:

  • Coordinated by the Village of Beverly Hills
  • 20 volunteers participated
  • 200 native flowers and grasses were planted along the creek to create a buffer to filter run-off from Quarton Road.

Riverside Park:

  • Coordinated by Heather Huffstutler, Six Rivers Regional Land Conservancy
  • Eleven volunteers participated.
  • 1,000 native flowers and grasses planted to create a buffer along Riverside Pond.

West Bloomfield


  • Coordinated by Nicole Pollack, Beautification Committee.
  • 54 volunteers participated.
  • Planted 64 native flowers to create a 150 square-foot butterfly garden.



  • 85 cubic yards of trash were removed from the river and surrounding floodplain. That's equivalent to 17,160 gallons, and included 29 tires, 9 shopping carts, 11 large household items including mattresses, sofas, recliners and more.
  • Two vehicles were removed from the River in Detroit’s Eliza Howell Park by volunteers from Aristeo Construction.
  • Volunteers also worked to remove 198 cubic yards of invasive plants.
  • 3,960 native wildflowers and grasses and 60 trees and shrubs were planted to reduce the impact of rainwater, such as streambank erosion and pollution carried to the river through storm sewers.


For More

Learn more about Friends of the Rouge and other volunteer opportunities at www.therouge.org, including the 2013 Rouge Rescue, planned for June 1.

Linda P August 30, 2012 at 01:23 PM
I didn't participate but my sincerest thanks to those who took the time and energy to improve our water resources.


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