Riverkeeper Report: Clean Rivers Day a success despite dreary weather

Published 10:04 am Friday, May 4, 2012

Above, Denise Walters and son, Ben, in canoe, with the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia pick up garbage at Cary’s Bridge. Beth Roach is in the kayak. -- SUBMITTED

Historic Southside Master Naturalists participating in the cleanup, are from left, John Bunch, Mike Cuthriell, Stella Payne, Tim Henry, Wendy Royston and Amy Henry. -- SUBMITTED

Clean Rivers Day held on Saturday was a super success.

Of course anytime you get the community out in a collective effort to better our environment, it’s a good thing. A big thank you from me personally to everyone that helped.

The dreary day actually made for great working conditions with the chilly wind keeping teams from busting a hard sweat. As of this writing, the 2012 CRD event had 24 teams participate. Team numbers ranged from one to 30 hardworking souls.

Top-heavy hauler team this year was Team Ashland/Eastman. The collective total from all teams was a whopping 6,335 pounds or 3.16 tons of garbage removed from our little piece of the planet.

That figure includes 34 tires, two toilets, a bumper, a couple of bike frames and a very large bra! That’s just some of the more interesting items found.

Twelve years of CRD events have now removed 74,544 pounds of junk from this area. The average haul is 6,160 pounds so we were right on target this year. The lowest haul was in 2010 with 4,135 pounds; the largest was 9,240 pounds in 2004.

Teams participating this year that have weighed in as of this writing were Friends of the Meherrin, Team Donald Powers, Nottoway Yacht Club, Historic Southside Master Naturalist, PDCCC Science Club, Franklin Garden Club, Franklin Beautification Committee, Nottoway Indian tribe of Va., Cub Scout Pack 27, Southampton Academy, Team Holzer, Blackwater Outfitters, Team Warren Beale, Team Turner/Rogers, Team Dean Wagonbach, Team Curtis Newsome, Team Christy Wilson, Team Tim McCormick, Three Rivers Bass Club, Ashland/Eastman, Southampton County Litter Control Council, Team Felice Hancock, Franklin Black Achievers, International Paper, YMCA Leaders Club with Troop 17.

Special thanks goes to the Virginia Department of Transportation, Southampton County and the City of Franklin for equipment and disposing of the junk collected.

Participant numbers (187 volunteers) were above the average of 140.

Next year I wish that everybody who fishes in the rivers will help and put a boat in to clean up. That just seems like a given to me; that the people who use the river the most would want to help clean up the river the most.

I hope to see every community leader, every city council member, every board of supervisor participate next year. Setting a great example this year was Southampton County Administrator Mike Johnson and Paul D. Camp Community College President Dr. Wm. Paul Conco; both were out in the thick of it cleaning up and were kicking butt!

Maybe all the schools could get on board and help. All that would be fantastic, but wouldn’t it really be nice if we never had to have another Clean Rivers Day?

LOL with that.