LAWRENCE -- It was a chance to get out on a canoe while also helping the environment.

The Merrimack River Watershed Council joined up with Greater Lawrence Community Boating Saturday morning at the Abe Bashara Boathouse for a paddling and trash removal event.

Dozens of volunteers from across the region took a quick course on safe paddling from Jed Koehler, executive director of the Boating Program, before launching their boats and heading upstream.

As they drifted back downstream to the boathouse, paddlers maneuvered along the banks of the river, picking up plastic and other types of rubbish, which was then hauled away on motor boats and taken to shore.

There were also opportunities to walk along the river to clean up for those who preferred to stay on solid ground.

Free lunch was provided from El Taller Cafe.


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