Vermont Business Magazine Picking up trash out of a river may not sound like the most fun way to spend a few hours, but the hundreds of Vermonters who annually participate in river cleanups find cleaning our waterways both enjoyable and rewarding. This September, join the fun by volunteering to clean up your local river as part of Vermont’s official River Cleanup Month.
Local watershed groups and other volunteers in Vermont organize river cleanups to remove trash that has accumulated in our waterways. Trash in rivers not only creates an eyesore for paddlers and swimmers, but it also negatively impacts wildlife and adds pollutants to our waters. Lyn Munno, Director of Watersheds United Vermont, a state-wide network of watershed groups promoting VT River Cleanup Month, stresses the importance of volunteers in making river cleanups a success. “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 more than 20,000 pounds of trash from rivers and shorelines at 27 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. Note that some cleanups may not yet be registered, so keep checking the website as more will be added. You can also organize your own cleanup with a group of community members, friends or coworkers. Watersheds United Vermont’s river cleanup website has a wide range of resources to help you organize your own cleanup including links to our partner organizations, Connecticut River Conservancy’s Source to Sea cleanup and American Rivers.
Kelly McCracken, Montpelier resident who participated in the Friends of the Winooski River cleanup last year says, “I participated for the first time last year. The bigger our haul got, the more our canoe was weighed down, the more exciting it got! Now I can’t wait to participate again this year. This time, I’m bringing my whole family. I knew it would be something I would feel good about… I didn’t realize how much fun I would have!” The Friends of the Winooski River is holding their annual cleanup this Saturday, September 9th, starting at 8:30.
Join the fun and help out your community, check out www.watershedsunitedvt.org/vtrivercleanup today to find a river cleanup near you. And, tag any River Cleanup Month social media photos or posts with #vtrivercleanup to appear on our statewide feed.
Watersheds United Vermont (WUV) is a state-wide network of local groups dedicated to improving the health of their home watersheds. WUV’s mission is to empower community-based watershed groups throughout the state to protect and restore Vermont’s waters. For Vermont River Cleanup month, WUV is partnering with Connecticut River Conservancy’s Source to Sea program and American Rivers. Please contact WUV at firstname.lastname@example.org or (802) 585-3569 with any questions about Vermont River Cleanup Month.
Source: Watersheds United Vermont