After last year’s Kentucky River Sweep was canceled because of severe thunderstorms, organizers are hoping to more than make up for it this year.
The 20th annual joint Clark and Madison river cleanup is set for Saturday, June 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., said Gary Epperson, Clark County solid waste coordinator.
“It’s part of a nationwide, eastern United States river cleanup campaign,” Epperson said. “The Allegheny River, the Ohio River — on the same day, there’s a massive river shoreline cleanup in this part of the country. It’s not just Kentucky.”
Epperson said between 50 and 100 volunteers are needed to help with the cleanup, “but we need at least 100 people or more to make it effective and get it cleaned up.”
Epperson said the effort is important because it protects a vital resource for area residents.
“I would say that the Kentucky River is the most precious resource that we have here, and Winchester and Lexington wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the Kentucky River because it provides all our water,” he said. “So it’s extremely important from an environmental and an ecological standpoint that we take care of the most precious resource that we have. And it actually gives you a chance to enjoy what the river’s actually all about.”
The trash in the river, Epperson said, comes from roadside litter and illegal dumps that come upstream from other areas.
Cigarette butts even end up in the stream, he added.
Those wanting to volunteer should meet at the Fort Boonesborough State Park beach by 8:30 a.m. to register, and they should wear sturdy shoes, sunscreen and gloves, Epperson said.
The first 100 people to sign up will receive T-shirts. There will also be food and refreshments served.
The Boonesboro Boat Club will provide the transportation across the river.
Contact Katie Perkowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter, @TheSunKatie.