Yesterday was the 22nd Annual River Rescue, a volunteer driven clean-up of local shorelines: from Ijams downstream along the Tennessee River to Fort. Loudoun Dam and the Clinch River at Melton Hill Dam plus assorted urban creeks.
As in years past, Ijams Nature Center—principally staffers Peg Beute and Sarah Brobst—organized this year's event. (with commemorative t-shirt design by Jennifer Roder.)
Special thanks goes to the sponsors for this year's rescue: Green Mountain Coffee, Mast General Store, Chaco, First Tennessee, Water Quality Forum, Kimberly Clark, CAC AmeriCorps, Erie Insurance, TVA Employees Credit Union, Information International Associates.
All the actual numbers have not been tabulated but traditionally over 800 volunteers "spring clean" public shorelines, boat ramps and neighborhood streams.
As in previous years, I was zone captain at Marine Park off Alcoa Highway and without a doubt my most enthusiastic volunteers were the Fab Four: Addison, Emily, Savannah and Keira, shepherded by Emily's mom Leanne.
It's hard to say if they were more cute than eager, or more eager than cute. With an undeniable ardor that really bordered on unbridled zeal, I think the pendulum swings toward the latter. They were environmental dynamos.
"We want to pick up trash. Clean the environment and save the EARTH," was their collective refrain.
You go girls!
- Text and photos by Stephen Lyn Bales