The focus of RiverDay 2013 on Saturday will be the beauty and the benefits of the Cuyahoga River.
The 23rd annual event features 26 events at 16 locations along the once-troubled river in Summit, Portage, Cuyahoga and Geauga counties.
The event typically draws several thousand participants — depending on the weather — to hikes, cleanups, habitat restorations, community festivals, art exhibits and concerts.
It is sponsored by the Friends of the Crooked River, a grass-roots group devoted to the Cuyahoga, and other partners in Northeast Ohio.
The goal of RiverDay is to make people aware of the free-flowing river’s important role in everyday lives and to highlight the need to continue improving its water quality, Friends spokeswoman Elaine Marsh said.
The river is having a positive effect on the economy in the Cuyahoga watershed, she said.
Local events include:
• Cuyahoga Valley National Park cleanups.
From 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. Volunteers are needed to plant trees and remove trash. Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, sturdy boots and work gloves. For ages 7 and up. Advance sign up is required. The location will be disclosed upon registration. Sponsored by the park and the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. To register, call 330-657-2299 or email email@example.com.
• Junior Ranger: Rambling Along the River.
Program for youngsters 7 to 12 to learn about water-quality testing on a hike from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The location will be disclosed upon registration. Presented by the National Park Service. To register, call 800-642-3297, ext. 100.
• Water quality testing in Cuyahoga Valley park.
From 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Meet at the Boston Store Visitor Center off Boston Mills Road in Boston Township. Presented by the park service. Information: 330-657-2752.
• Art, music and fairies in Peninsula.
The Peninsula Art Academy (330-657-2248) will open an art show, Ebb and Flow, with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. at 1600 Mill St. W. The Log Cabin Gallery (330-657-2670) will stage a spring exhibit opening from 3 to 5 p.m. at 1671 Main St. Heritage Farms (330-657-2330) will present fairy activities and Irish music from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 6059 Riverview Road.
• Night bike ride.
Century Cycle in Peninsula is staging a night bike ride on the Towpath Trail starting at 8 p.m. Ride is 12 to 15 miles. You must provide your own bike, helmet and light. Information: 330-657-2209 or www.century cycles.com/for/nightrides.
• RiverDay at Cascade Village.
From 10 a.m. to noon. Learn about the Little Cuyahoga River and clean up its banks. Meet at the Cascade Village Community Center, 210 E. North St., Akron. Long sleeves, long pants and work gloves are recommended. Pre-registration required for groups. Children under 18 must have adult supervision. Sponsored by the University of Akron and Cascade Village Public Art. Information: 330-253-9484 or 330-414-4954.
• Bike ride along Little Cuyahoga River.
Depart at 11 a.m. from the Mustill Store off West North Street near downtown Akron. Helmets required. Sponsored by the Cascade Locks Park Association. Information: 330-374-5625.
• Cuyahoga Falls cleanup.
From 10 a.m. to noon. Location will be provided upon registration. Sponsored by the city of Cuyahoga Falls, Keep America Beautiful and State Road Donato’s Pizza. Advance registration required. To register, contact Becky McCleary at 330-971-8201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Munroe Falls celebration.
Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with animals, exhibits, music and refreshments at Brust Park, 128 N. Main St. Sponsored by the Munroe Falls Park Board. Pancake breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. at fire station, 43 Munroe Falls Ave. Invasive plant pull from 9 a.m. to noon. Meet at Brust Park.
• Kent events.
Festival from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Plum Creek Park on Cherry Street. 330-673-8897. Sponsored by Kent Parks and Recreation and the Kent Environmental Council. Kayak, canoe, tube, bike rentals at Tannery Park. Fees charged. Reservations advised. Information: 330-541-7467. Community dinner from 6 to 8 p.m. at Plum Creek Park. Organized by All Together Now Inc. Information: 330-678-8760. Native American celebration of the river with campfire from 8 to 10 p.m. at Plum Creek Park. Coordinated by Kent State University’s Native American Student Association.
A complete list of events is available at www.cuyahoga river.net.
For more information, contact Marsh at 330-328-3909 or email@example.com.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.