MONTPELIER >> Picking up trash out of a river may not sound like the most fun way to spend a weekend morning, but the hundreds of Vermonters who annually participate in river cleanups would beg to differ. This September, join the fun by volunteering to clean up your local river as part of Vermont's official River Cleanup Month.
"Spending just a few hours one weekend picking up trash from a river can make a big difference," said Lyn Munno, director of Watersheds United Vermont. "River cleanup volunteers are critical in removing shopping carts, plastic bottles and tires from our waters. Many Vermonters are concerned about clean water, and river cleanups are a great way for citizens to get involved and make a visible difference in the health of their local river."
Last year, Vermont River Cleanup Month participants hauled 16,000 pounds of trash from rivers and shorelines at 30 cleanup events. To join a river cleanup this September, visit www.watershedsunitedvt.org/vtrivercleanup and learn more about cleanups in your area. Depending on the river, the cleanup may take place on shore at a popular access site or by boat to remove trash in the river; contact the cleanup organizer to learn the details of the cleanup you want to participate in. You can also organize your own cleanup with a group of community members, friends or co-workers. WUV's river cleanup website has a wide range of resources to help you organize your own cleanup.
Jimmy Young volunteered at a cleanup hosted by Friends of Northern Lake Champlain and the Northwest Regional Planning Commission this summer.
"We removed over 100 pounds of trash from Stevens Brook. Even though I was sad to see how much trash was in the water, it was rewarding to spend the day working with other volunteers to make the brook cleaner," Young said.
Join the fun and help out your community, check out www.watershedsunitedvt.org/vtrivercleanup today to volunteer at a river cleanup.
Some cleanups are happening this weekend, so be sure to sign-up to volunteer soon. Note that some cleanups may not yet be registered, so keep checking the website as more will be added. And, tag any River Cleanup Month social media photos or posts with #vtrivercleanup to appear on our statewide feed.