Ever since seeing Chad Pregracke’s barge tied up at Easley back in 2001, with plate boats loaded down with trash coming in from all directions, we’ve made it a priority to build up our clean-up infrastructure.
And, since the beginning, it’s been the generosity of supporters that made it happen. Here’s a look at our clean-up fleet and the folks that made it possible.
RR150 – 50hp Grizzly. (“Karp”)
This boat has taken on a sort of sideways tilt, but keeps on trucking. We use her to haul people instead of trash to give her welds a rest, but she always seems to end up with a tire or two in her hull. Named after the founder of River Relief, Jim Karpowicz, her homeport is Alligator Cove. The boat and motor was donated by Bass Pro Shops & their sister company Tracker Marine.
RR260 – 60hp Grizzly. (“Char”)
A consistent workhorse, “Char” did the whole 754 mile MegaScout trip. Most of the time Anthony “Boudreaux” Pettit piloted her and they’ve been inseparable ever since. Named for Charlotte Overby, multi-instrumentalist and conscience of River Relief. Again, Bass Pro Shops & Tracker Marine donated the boat & motor.
RR390 – 115hp Aluminum Plate Boat (“Saskia”)
She’s wide, she’s long, and she can haul an outrageous number of tires. She was handmade by a boatmaker on the Mississippi as the first commercial asian carp fishing boat. Chad taught us that plate boats are the safest way to haul huge loads and we've been collecting ever since. The boat was paid for by a grant from the Boone Electric Community Trust.
In 2011, we replaced its 90 hp motor with a 115 horse two-stroke Johnson motor donated by Bill Rotts of Rotts & Gibbs Law Firm.
When this motor broke down, it was replaced by a 115hp Mercury motor donated by Bass Pro Shops in 2013
RR490 – 90hp Aluminum Plate Boat (“Hildy Harliner”)
Added in 2007. She was Chad’s first plate boat, and we’re honored to be her caretaker.
She’s already been up to Gavin’s Point dam and down to the Confluence. She was paid for by an equipment grant from the Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management District with matching funds from the Boone Electric Community Trust. Her first name is for Hilda “Pat” Jones, an amazing conservationist and dedicated MRR sponsor. Her second name recognizes Matt Harline, the former program manager for MMSWMD – a longtime ally in the mid-Missouri area.
RR590 - 90hp Aluminum Plate Boat ("The Robust Anna Deka")
Added in 2011. This boat was custom built by Chad Pumphrey from Fort Madison, IA, with a grant from the Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Managment District. We mounted it with the Saskia's 90 hp Mercury Motor which had been originally been donated by Mercury Marine. Bass Pro Shop made a donation toward outfitting the boat.
The boat was named by a group of students and parents from the River Kids, a student-run non-profit from New City School in St. Louis. They were on the first cleanup with the boat and decided to name it honoring our 10th anniversary ("Anna" for anniversary, "Deka" for decade). Then they decided it need something more and one kid suggested "Robust".
GMC Jimmy 4X4 Pickup
Seen at river events all over the Kansas City area. A trash and boat hauler. Donated by Memco Barge Line, now part of AEP River Operations.
2 Ford Ecoline 15 passenger vans
People hauler, gear stasher, occasional weather-proof housing. It has helped us cut down on fuel consumption by getting more people to clean-ups. The Charlie van was donated by Memco and the Chad van was donated by Living Lands & Waters.
Ford box truck – (“Ol’ Yeller)
An eyesore to some, a dance hall to others, this yellow beast has been hauling our gear all over the Midwest, only stranding us once. Anyone know where we can get a new(er) one? photo by Melanie Cheney.
Toyota Pickup - ("The Hummer")
Olathe Ford and Rivermiles teamed up to donate this little five-speed to give River Relief a more fuel efficient road and errand vehicle. Scott Mansker referred to her as a "little hummingbird", and now she's just the "Hummer".
Kitchen tent (“the Flying Nun”)
An amazing contraption made of a tractor-trailer cover, heavy rope and some scrap pipe, it was the only tent to survive the Alligator Cove Hurricane of 2004. Only Racin’ Dave (the brains behind it) knows how to put it up, but John Brady thinks he knows.
above photos by Tim Cheney, Wayne Werkmeister, Melanie Cheney & Jen Courtney
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