Clean Rivers Day A Clean Sweep

22 Apr
April 22, 2009

The ninth annual Clean Rivers Day (CRD) sponsored by the Blackwater Nottoway Riverkeepers was held on Saturday April the 18th. I am very happy to report it was a great success. We had 109 people who care about our local environment come out and participate in the clean up. Those 109 people picked up 5,060 pounds of trash, tires and other garbage out of our ditches, streams and rivers.

Thirty-nine tires were collected this year also, which as I predicted was a record. Since there is no place in the county for people to easily dispose of tires anymore the problem of people dumping tires along our roads and in our swamps will only get worse. Some of the more strange things found this year were a car seat, a cat bed (cat not included), shopping cart and a grill. You really never know what your going to find on CRD, at least this year we did not find a dead cow in the river like was found one year. As of this writing here are the teams an individuals that have reported who worked hard to make our piece of the world cleaner. Renee Trull & Hunterdale Pack 27, Joyner-Gray-Yale Ruritan Club, Mitchell Norman/Izaak Walton League, Phillip Bradshaw/Boy Scout Troop 27, Ken & Linda Benken, Ashland/Hercules, Felice & Bill Hancock, Iluka Mining, Team Tom Tiller, Zuni Ruritan’s, Elaine Beale/Southampton Academy, Team Mary Joyner, Doug Rogers & Bobby Turner, YMCA Black Achievers, Team Curtis Newsome, Franklin Garden Club, John & Sandy Bunch, Dean Wagonbach, Joe Nye Wiggins, Lynda Updike, Gina & Ash Cutchins, Brew & Nancy Brewbaker, Dottie & Dick Gilbert, Westbrook & Anne Parker, Mary Nelson Thompson and Three Rivers Bass Club. The top trash gathering team this year was, drum roll please…. The Franklin YMCA Black Achievers (again) with 15 bags followed closely by the Ashland /Hercules team with 12 bags. What a fantastic job and service to this community all these people provided Saturday. Southampton Academy was the only school that participated this year. The absence of the “other” schools really hurt us this year. I know it was spring break but I notify teachers and principles about CRD each year weeks ahead of time. I try really hard at getting our youth involved in CRD ever year as they are the ones that will one day be charged with protecting these streams and rivers. Maybe next year the “other” schools will take an interest in CRD. Just think, if 10 students from the other schools had participated this year that could have been as many as 40 more people cleaning up. From this years figures the average was 46.4 pounds of trash per person. So that could have been another 1,856 pounds of trash that would have been removed from our midst. It’s just an example of what a big difference a single person or group of people can make. CRD is from 8 to 12 noon or 4 hours. Most teams that have kids are done in half that time. It is amazing how much stuff and how fast a group of children can scour a clean-up spot. C’mon, it’s four hours ONCE A YEAR. I also want to give a big thank you to Bobby & Nancy Turner who helped at the Franklin Boat Landing that day, the City of Franklin for gathering up the bags and tires in town and VDOT for providing the trash bags. Thank you all and if I missed somebody I apologize. Yes, this was a successful CRD, all are. Yet this year’s 5,060 pounds was the lowest total ever collected believe it or not but not by much. In 2005 100 volunteers gathered 5,130 pound, so it was close. The highest was in 2004 when 130 volunteers picked up 9,240 pounds. Maybe that means the hard work put in by all the great volunteers we have had over the years is making a difference. Maybe others will see these volunteers giving up part of their Saturday to clean up our piece of this Earth and maybe they will not throw that drink bottle out the car window. Maybe after eating that fast food burger they will not pitch that Styrofoam plate in the ditch anymore. MAYBE, just maybe one day we can have Clean Rivers Day and all of us just get together and enjoy a clean river and not have any trash to pick up.
Now wouldn’t that be just dandy!
Jeff Turner

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