2010 James River Regional Cleanup a Success!

June 12, 2010

On Saturday, June 12, over a thousand volunteers participated in the 11th Annual James River Regional Cleanup.  When all was said, and done, the event was a grand success!  There were volunteer meetup locations on both the tidal and nontidal James River. Our particular site was the Pony Pasture Park and we had 181 volunteers including a dive team to clean up below the surface, and a number of boaters to paddle between Huguenot Flatwater and Pony Pasture to clean up the debris in the trees along the banks, and among the many rocks scattered around the river. One would think people would just be responsible, but as a society, unfortunately, we are a long way from that kind of wide spread appreciation and accountability.  Volunteers walked the roads, woodlands, islands, river edges and the river itself to collect 23 big garbage bags of trash and over 20 bags of recyclable items.

What made the day special was the coordination of special projects as Ralph White and I met and talked about 'special line items' he would like to see done in and around the Pony Pasture parking lot and surrounding area. Small groups of constituents and employee outings from local business showed up raring to lend a hand (or two). Coca-Cola showed up with 36 people who painted recycle bins and painted curbs. The Coca-Cola team included a few kids who helped with painting the recycle bins (and this made for a cute photo opportunity).

Other teams included Capital Ale House, who hauled and spread gravel but I think the most appreciated duty of the day was the Capital Ale House group who cooked lunch for everyone. The Richmond Dive Club 'dove' in and pulled trash from the river. For whatever reason, people who bring both glass bottles and aluminum cans to the river often end up tucking their trash under the rocks in the river. Again, it falls back to that total lack of responsibility.

Boy Scout troop 891 clipped vegetation around the entrance and exit to Pony Pasture and all that 'sweat equity' made for some nice images and a proud day for those youngsters and their guardians.  Those boys and their leaders made a very real, wonderful 'visual' difference. 

I'd like to thank all the individuals, groups and organizations who made the day possible, including the James River Advisory Council who organizes the event year after year. 

See you all in 2011. 

-- Capt. Mike