Dumpsters are full, sneakers are wet, smiles are wide, and the Watauga River is a whole lot cleaner! Thanks to the 124 volunteers who cleaned up 1,940 pounds of trash on Saturday, September 25, 2010!
This year's clean up could not of happened without the River Captains. These are the people who shuttle, transport trash to the dumpsters, and provide boats and leadership for the volunteers who show up to their site. This year's River Captains who led volunteer efforts in the Watauga Watershed include: Foscoe Fishing Company Clay Benfield, Tyler Almond, and Scott Farfone; Watauga River Anglers' Steve Michel, Matt Michel, and Brody Green; Grant Seldomridge of River and Earth Adventures; Riverkeepers Donna Lisenby and Eric Chance; and Andi Cochran, Dick Hearn, Joan Hearn, and John Whitley. Thank you all so much!!!
GDS disposal service was a tremendous help, providing four open top dumpsters across the watershed for volunteers to utilize. Last year our dumpsters were so full they spilled out the tops. This year GDS provided larger 8x12ft bins! Thank you so much GDS!!!
Southern Peaks Real Estate Services provided drinks and snacks for volunteers; they also purchased a first aid kit for us to use just in case! Thankfully we only had a few scrapes and bumps. Harris Teeter also provided snacks for volunteers.
Barbara Michels, ASU Freshmen Seminar Professor, had 64 of her students participate, and she provided lunch for all of them at Valle Crucis Park! Thank you to her students: Matt Aulbert, Carol Holloway, Nick Alvarez, Kellie Reese, Chelsea Gaudette, Joanna Poage, Jordan Elliot, Meredith Reamey, Davis Inman, Jake Dew, Lauren Leftwich, Sarah Tipton, Wyatt Morton, Will Coble, Jackie Chan, Patrick Gitter, Ashley Bramble, Taylor Walker, Stephanie Hodges, Leslie Maxey, Amy Kwaitkowski, Ramsy Marra, Everette Israel, Natalie Sridhar, Adam Wicker, Andy Lipocky, Dylan Turner, Carl McFarland, Derrick Hudson, Andrew Garner, Jon King, David Weiss, Adam Kuchenreuther, Jacob Caldwell, Will Black, Rachel Nave, Alex Souder, Allison Neese, Delana Hutchens, Jonathan Wolfe, Gabriela Celi, Emily Gillespie, Andrew Jarrett, Matt Thomas, Tiffany Davis, Emilee Icenhour, Amanda Sawyer, Josephine Sze, Ansley Putnam, Garrett Bowman, Sean Palmer, Alex Martin, Alex Vasquez, Ben Johnson, Ryan McMillan, Sabrina Stephens, Shineece Sellars, Samantha Bailey, and Adam Vanderpool. I’d also like to thank Randy Carter, Len Moody, and Will and Glenda Trivette as landowner partners.
As we made our way to the county line, Andy Hill's Freshmen Seminar cleaned up from Trash Can Falls down to Guy Ford Rd finding a car bumper, refrigerator door, trash can, dilapidated DOT traffic cones and barrels, and old political signs for people who are not even running in the election right now. Thank you to Ethan Young, Ted LeGrand, Zeb Rambotham, Haley Dantos, Frankie Vierela, Kelli Jo Havenek, Tyler Matthews, Brian Hee, Stephen Coggins, Traci Keith, Bethany Douglass, Daniel Philips, Andrew Hill, Mike Huffman, Kathryn Peverall, Janice Tallman, David Wilson, Grant Huether, Eric Sensenbrenner, Brianna Nichols, Hannah Houff, Zachary Yllanes, Robert Perfetto, Jessica Hutcher, Melissa, Sybert, Kueta Kleven, Charles Sordian, Richard, Awopetu, and Michael Stanton.
After the clean up, Foscoe Fishing Company's Tyler Almond stated that the river is really low right now and very clear; they were able to see lots of trout in the river. Some large items the volunteers retrieved at this site include a 300 pound I-beam, tires, lots of scrap metal, and bed springs. ASU’s Circle K Club came out to clean including: Megan Northcote, Jennifer Mann, Zach Anderson, Chris Griffith, and other volunteers include John Murray, James Rogers, Kathryn Trexler, Sai Estep, Matt Rivers, Dottie Farfone, Nick Bennett, Chelsie Mitchell and Lawson Bloom.
Stewart Skeate's class from Lees McRae also participated in the clean up and retrieved seven tires, assorted pieces of metal, drainage pipes, and a beer keg! Dr. Skeate said that Elk was actually quite clean compared to years past, possibly due to the dry summer and less runoff into the river.
A few years ago, my friend Lee J Ball told me he took an oath to pick up three pieces of trash a day. He inspired me to do the same. It’s such an easy task, and if everyone picked up three pieces a day we could have a litter free community. Won’t you please consider taking an oath to pick up three pieces a day!
Thank you to all the folks who contributed to this years Watauga Watershed Clean Up! I am so grateful to be a part of this caring community!