|Love seat found on Love's Creek|
The 29th annual Ijams River Rescue was held Saturday, April 7. And as it turned out, it was a chilly, damp and even rainy day. But folks still came out to help.
Thank you to the 625 volunteers who met at 42 public sites along the river and tributary streams to make our East Tennessee home more beautiful. Folks came in boats, canoes and trucks. They brought wheelbarrows, rakes and a steely-eyed resolve to "do the right thing." And despite the weather, 39.7 tons of trash were collected from our local waterways.
The last time the numbers were this high was during the first three years Ijams tracked the event’s results. Then the amounts totaled 36 tons in 1995, 48 tons in 1996 and 35 tons in 1997.
What makes this year’s total even more interesting is that most of the trash—an estimated 30 tons—came from one location: An illegal dumping ground on Loves Creek. The City of Knoxville hauled away eight truckloads full of debris from that site alone, making it the dirtiest location in the annual cleanup’s history.
Even with this record-breaking site, the news is more good than bad: The remaining 41 sites together only yielded 9.7 tons of trash, which is on the low end of what has been collected since the mid ‘90s.
We tip our hats to presenting sponsors TVA and DOW Chemical Company.
And special thanks to everyone who participated in the cleanup, and to the event’s other sponsors: City of Knoxville Stormwater Management, First Tennessee Foundation, Knoxville Open Water Swimmers, Grayson Subaru, Keurig Green Mountain, Lowe’s, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, American Rivers, Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union, Thompson Engineering, Wood Realtors, AmeriCorps and Water Quality Forum.
All who volunteered got a free Ijams River Rescue t-shirt with a whooping crane on it. This endangered species is sometimes seen spending the night on Looney Island opposite Marine Park.
One person can make a difference. Hundreds of people make a movement. Scruffy little city? Not any longer!
If one photo is worth a thousand words, here's over 37,000 more words.