Teams collect more than 4,800 lbs. of litter

Published 10:16 am Friday, April 18, 2014

23 teams and 174 volunteers cleaned up more than 4,800 lb.s of trash during Clean Rivers Day on Saturday. -- Cain Madden | Tidewater News

23 teams and 174 volunteers cleaned up more than 4,800 lbs of trash during Clean Rivers Day on Saturday. One of the teams was the Franklin Garden Club. From left to right, Gayle Urquhart, Sharon Beale, Peggy Morgan, Mary Thompson, Riverkeeper Jeff Turner, Anne Parker, Millie Hotchkiss and Diane Romano. — Cain Madden | Tidewater News


FRANKLIN—Since Clean Rivers Day began 14 years ago, volunteers have removed more than 42 tons of garbage from the community.

This year, they added more than 4,800 to that total, which is still waiting on final weight from Team International Paper. This is the work that 23 teams and 174 volunteers did in a few hours on a Saturday morning.

“I really want to thank again all the teams that participated and also the City of Franklin and Southampton County who helped get the teams’ bags picked up and took care of tires and stuff like that,” said Jeff Turner, event organizer and Blackwater/Nottoway Riverkeeper. “It helps make things look better, and it has other benefits too.

“It keeps wildlife from getting entangled, and it keeps drains and ditchers from getting clogged up, which causes flooding.”

Franklin Garden Club sent out the most participants with 35 volunteers, and they also bagged the highest total weight at 960 pounds.

This year’s heavy hauler team (weight divided by number of volunteers on the team) was Team Ben Cutchins, who by himself picked up 150 pounds.

The two strangest items were a crack pipe found by Team Wagonbach and Team Heave Ho Promotions, which found a box spring and mattress set.

“We found the crack pipe beside the 58 business bridge. I guess someone was fishing and having a high old time,” laughed Turner. “The mattress was found by the Route 189 boat ramp.”

In no particular order, the participating teams were Heave Ho Promotions, Team Bunch/Hancock, Team Hancock/Brooks, Team Hancock, Team Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia, Team Franklin Garden Club, Team Franklin Rotary, Team PDCCC Science Club, Team Reid Family, Team Boy Scout Troop 17. Team Ashland, Team Blohm, Team Chaffee, Team YMCA Leaders, Team Historic Southside, Team Master Naturalists, Team Beale, Team Joyner Gray Yale Ruritans. Team Newsome, Team Turner, Team Wagonbach, Team Cutchins, Team Blackwater Outfitters and Team International Paper.

“I think it gives everybody a good sense of pride and involvement in taking care of their own little piece of the world,” Turner said.

“It is a community pride, that people can say, ‘Hey, I helped.’”