Janesville32.5°

Town hall meeting to take place on river

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GINA R. HEINE
September 10, 2011
— Politics and paddles.

A town hall meeting Monday night with area legislators will include paddles as the meeting floats down the Rock River in the Beloit area.


The 10th annual Send Your Legislator Down the River event starts at the Rock Bar and Grill for discussion and an optional dinner before a shuttle takes participants upriver to begin the paddle trip.


"It's a pretty unique event," said Patricia Cicero, a Rock River Coalition board member.


The nonprofit Rock River Coalition puts on the annual event in a different location throughout the Rock River basin to highlight different resources, she said. The 3.5-mile paddle will take about 90 minutes.


Citizens can interact with legislators and "ask them questions about what sort of work they're doing that affects the Rock River basin," she said.


"We want to make sure that they understand there's citizens in the basin that are concerned about the resources and that there's protection for the resources," she said.


The coalition soon will be working with the state Department of Natural Resources and other partners on a plan to reduce sediment and phosphorous in the Rock River. A report on the issue recently was sent to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval.


"The Rock River Coalition is going to be involved in the next couple of years in how that load reduction will be implemented," Cicero said.


Elected officials expected to attend Monday's event are: Reps. Joe Knilans, R-Janesville; Janis Ringhand, D-Evansville; Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton; Evan Wynn, R-Whitewater; and Brett Hulsey, D-Madison; Sens. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville; and Mark Miller, D-Monona; and representatives from the offices of U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin and Sen. Ron Johnson.


The UW-Extension, the DNR, Paddle and Trail and Sen. Cullen are sponsoring the event.


IF YOU GO
What: 10th annual Send Your Legislator Down the River
When: 4-7:30 p.m. Monday
Where: Registration, optional meal and town hall meeting at Rock Bar and Grill, 101 Maple Ave., Beloit, from 4-5:30 p.m. A shuttle will take participants to Preservation Park, where the paddle will begin at 6 p.m. The 3.5 mile paddle will end at Rock Bar and Grill.
Registration: Go online to rockrivercoalition.org. Participants also can register at the event.
Cost: Ranges from free for children 5 and under to $12 for people who are not Rock River Coalition members, plus $5 per person for the paddle trip. Dinner is extra. Participants can bring their own paddle craft, rent space in a canoe or in the state Department of Natural Resources 25-foot voyageur canoes.
More information: Call Marie at (920) 674-7297 or email marier@jeffersoncountywi.gov

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