Helping to keep the community and area clean

Many people who in the Tri-States who live and work next to the Mississippi River every day sometimes take it for granted.

One mission of a new volunteer group in Hannibal is to keep the wrong things from draining into the Mississippi.

The City of Hannibal and the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department came up with the idea to help make the city more environmentally-friendly.

Andrew Richards and Max Thomure spent the morning with cans of spray paint in their hands. They were painting something designed to help Hannibal and the environment, messages near storm sewer grates. They're volunteers with the 1819 Hannibal's Stream Team.

"Yeah, we like to volunteer and we job shadowed down at the parks and rec department and they said we should do this and we told them we would," Richards said.

The city and the parks and recreation department in Hannibal formed the Stream Team to do some eco-friendly projects around Hannibal.

Brian Chaplin is a project manager with the City of Hannibal and he was overseeing the project.

"Painting these stencils kind of puts out a word not to put debris and waste in the inlets because it drains to our river and we'd like our river clean. Things like that really do a lot of damage to water and our river and fish and wildlife, and it does happen. So we like to put the stencils on to kind of get that word out there not to do it, and maybe it's a reminder when they do see that not to dump that in there," Chaplin said.

The city said there have been cases of hazardous materials like motor oil and antifreeze getting dumped into the river. These stencils hopefully will remind people what not to do.

The Stream Team has other projects in the works, like tree plantings and stream cleanups. The city hopes more people get on board with the idea and volunteer as more projects are announced.

You can get more information about the Stream Team's plans by logging onto the city's website,