20 years of Little Presque Isle cleanups

A local environmental group celebrated two decades of keeping the Little Presque Isle area clean on Sunday.

The Michigan DNR once planned to build a drive-in campground at Little Presque Isle.

Sierra Club members volunteered to clean up the area in Marquette Township once a month if the DNR would drop its plans, and state officials agreed to that.

“We started 20 years ago, and we’ve been coming out basically once a month from May to October, and picking up whatever trash we find on the beaches and trails,” Central U.P. Sierra Club group chair John Rebers said.

Sunday was their final cleanup day of the year. When the Sierra Club began the cleanups in 1993, each one turned up thousands of pounds of trash, but it’s a very different story now. “Sometimes, we see lots of beer bottles, other kinds of debris, but there really wasn’t that much party activity over the last month, and, plus, it looks like the lake washed away a lot of stuff,” Rebers said.

The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the U.S. The Little Presque Isle cleanup days will continue next year.