Visitors to Fort Boonesborough State Park this summer will find a much cleaner Kentucky River thanks to the efforts of the more than 100 people who showed up for the 21st annual Kentucky River Sweep Saturday.
The group spent several hours picking up trash and debris that had collected along the banks of the river near the boat ramp and beach at the park and along the Clark County side of the river, near Lock and Dam No. 10.
One group of about 15 teenagers came from Tennessee to help, while others were residents who lived along the river. But most were just concerned citizens from Madison and Clark counties who love and enjoy the river and want to help protect it for future generations.
“This is really needed and it’s our responsibility,” said George Golliday, who lives in Boone’s Trace near the river. “We could judge the ones who threw it out, but that’s not our place. It’s our responsibility to try to help keep the river clean. It’s just good stewardship.”
Some who have helped with the cleanup effort for many years said they didn’t think there was quite as much trash this year, while others were shocked at what they saw.
“I knew it was bad, but not this bad. This is ridiculous. We have recycling facilities and people should use them,” said Erin Walker, who was helping with River Sweep for the first time.
When asked if she would be back again next year, Walker said she definitely would.
“Oh, yeah. I do volunteer work at Clark County Emergency Management and Gary (Epperson) loves the environment and wants to make a difference so that makes you want to make a difference. Somebody has to take care of it,” Walker said.
The River Sweep is a cooperative effort of the Kentucky River Authority and the Ohio River Water Sanitation Commission. Along with the Fort Boonesborough effort, similar efforts were conducted Saturday in 31 other counties along the Kentucky River basin.
Contact Bob Flynn at email@example.com.