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Here’s how you can help plant 100 trees in Hamilton and clean up a local waterway

For those wanting to mark Earth Day and Arbor Day, people in Hamilton are hosting a pair events in coming days, both in the Riverside Natural Area near the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

On Tuesday, April 24, volunteers from 9 to 11 a.m. will plant 100 trees in the area, near the wastewater plant, at 2451 River Road. Participants can park along the driveway and the parking lot. There will be signs, with water, trash bags and hand-cleaner provided.

Troy Schwable, who has been working to improve the natural area with his wife, Kathy, and many volunteers, said five types of trees will be planted, with 20 of each going in: sycamore, Kentucky coffeetree, bald cyprus, sassafras and paw paw.

The second event will happen Saturday, April 28, with a volunteer “Spring Clean Up” from 9 a.m. to noon at the lagoon area, which becomes polluted with trash after the Great Miami River overflows into it.

“There’s been lots of plastic bottles and tires, and just stuff that has made its way into there, and the backing of the water has made it condense into the cul-de-sac of the lagoon,” Schwable said.

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“With these flood waters coming up-and-down, up-and-down, up-and-down, it’s brought it all up,” he said. “The more we can get out of there, the better the habitat is for everything.”

Those who haven’t yet discovered the area will enjoy it, the way other volunteers before them have, he said.

For the clean-up, people can gather at two locations: the wastewater location used for the tree planting; or near the intersection of South River View and River Road, near a ravine.

For both events, he advises people to wear boots, gloves, long pants and long sleeves: “Just to be comfortable. Dress to work out in the woods.”

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