Rivers Alive hosts annual cleanup event Saturday

by Sarah Fay Campbell

The Friends of Chattahoochee Bend State Park will be hosting the park’s fourth Rivers Alive cleanup event on Saturday.

There will be cleanup on the river, and on the banks of the river. Volunteers in canoes and kayaks will travel the 3.5 miles from the upper platform camping site to the boat ramp, with hopes to travel slightly downriver as well, depending on river flows.

Volunteers are planning to scout the trails prior to the cleanup in order to find the best places to remove trash.

Since cleanups are held twice a year, the river and its banks are fairly clean. “I doubt there will be much trash accessible from the bank,” said Steve St. Laurent, president of the Bend Friends. “The river has gone over nine feet only once since the last cleanup.”

As of Thursday, there are eight volunteers officially signed up, and 12 to 15 more are expected, said Greg Hyde, River Committee chairman for the Bend Friends. “We welcome anybody else that wants to join us,” he said. The park has a limited number of boats available. Experience paddling the river is preferred.

Volunteers need to respond by Wednesday to reserve a boat, Hyde said.

A light lunch will be fed to volunteers who register in advance.

Walking volunteers should wear heavy duty gloves, preferably nitrile coated. They’re encouraged to bring wheelbarrows, wagons, large plastic garbage cans and other containers that can be used to haul trash.

Volunteers should arrive by 8:30 a.m.

The cleanup is being dedicated to the memory of volunteer Tony Burroughs, who passed away Aug. 9. Burroughs participated in every river cleanup the friends organization held, and was the caretaker of a section of the Riverside-Bend Trail. St. Laurent will be towing his kayak during the cleanup.

For information about the cleanup, visit www.bendfriend.com, email friendsofchattahoocheebend@gmial.com, or join the event on Facebook.



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