MILLVILLE - About 35 volunteers helped tidy up the Shenandoah River on Saturday as part of the Blue Ridge Watershed Coalition's first river cleanup.
Volunteers at the event, which had to be rescheduled from its original date due to inclement weather, collected more than 40 discarded tires both along the riverbanks and in shallow sections of the Shenandoah River, according to event organizer and BRWC chair Ronda Lehman.
The cleanup effort also netted two televisions and enough small pieces of trash to fill a large number of trash bags, Lehman said in a phone interview Tuesday. The cleanup covered an area of about four miles, from Shannondale Springs to the railroad tracks at Millville.
"We had people in the water, but we got most of the booty off the banks, all the stuff that's getting ready to wash in," Lehman said. "We did geocaching and we marked stuff with flags because a lot of it I can get when I'm out in my kayak.
"We're going to do another (cleanup) in July when the water's low and we're going to get grappling hooks and pull those tires out that way, because they're just embedded. ... They get filled up with silt, and they're just impossible to pick up after a while."
Apart from individual volunteers the cleanup also attracted several local businesses, which provided sundry supplies for the participants. Rafting companies River Riders and River & Trail Outfitters provided rafts, guides, life jackets and paddles, while Appalachian Surveys PLLC donated water. Ridgefield Farms donated apples and a gift certificate for a Christmas tree, according to a news release from Lehman.
"It's always a good day when the community comes together to make our corner of the world a better place," Lehman stated in the release. "It's a daunting task trying to save our water for future generations, and every event makes a difference."