Volunteers sought for Saturday's River Sweep
Thursday, June 13, 2013 11:00 AM
Local volunteers will clean the banks of the Ohio River this weekend as part of the annual multi-state effort from Pennsylvania to Illinois.
River Sweep - sponsored by the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission - takes place in Jefferson and Switzerland counties, as well as Carroll County, Ky., on Saturday. Each county designates a meeting space for volunteers to register before spreading out along the nearby riverbank to clear away trash and debris from the winter months.
The River Sweep activities in Jefferson County begin at 8 a.m. near Mulberry Street and Vaughn Drive near the Madison Regatta judges' stand. Clean-up efforts will last until around 11:30 a.m.
Switzerland County plans to hold River Sweep clean-up efforts at the Paul Ogle Park and Patriot Boat Ramp on Saturday. The events in Switzerland County begin at 8 a.m. and last until 11 a.m.
River Sweep activities in Carroll County, Ky., begin at 9 a.m. at the Point Park shelter house, Carroll County River Sweep organizer Sam Burgess said, with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. Volunteers will spread along the riverbanks of the Ohio and Kentucky rivers, as well as the downtown area.
Volunteers at all locations need to sign a waiver before participating in the day's events. Volunteers under the age of 18 need a parent's signature to participate in the River Sweep clean-up.
Waivers may be printed online from the River Sweep section of the Orsanco website at www.orsanco.org/sweep. A few extra waivers will be available at each locations, organizers said.
Event organizers provide gloves and bags to volunteers for the clean-up efforts. Free t-shirts will also be available for volunteers while supplies last at each location.
Other prize giveaways and lunch will be available in Carrollton thanks to local sponsors, Burgess said.
Refreshments will also be provided by a local sponsor in Jefferson County, organizer Stephanie Hellmann said.
Switzerland County River Sweep organizer Caren Griffith encouraged volunteers to bring a bottle of water for the day's events, as well as a hat or other items for protection from the sun.
Hellmann also encouraged volunteers to think ahead when dressing for the event by wearing sturdy shoes and long pants.
"You know it's mucky," she said.
Hellmann doesn't know what might be picked up along the riverfront this year, but all kinds of debris have been cleared from the area throughout the years.
"We've found everything from car parts to household furnishings," Hellmann said.
To help with the clean-up efforts in Jefferson County this year, organizers partnered with Bridgestone's One Team, One Planet Spent Tire Community Clean-up Support Program will recycle any tires found at the river during the event.
Normally the group has to pay to get rid of tires found during the event, but the program will allow all collected tires to be taken to Bridgestone's Louisville plant to be reused or recycled into playground mulch or asphalt for roads.
This year marks the 24th annual River Sweep event for the Ohio River and other tributaries.