Saturday, Sept. 21 was the 26th annual North Carolina Big Sweep. Groups from all over the state participated in the largest river, roadside and stream cleanup of the year. Volunteers from the mountains to the coast were cleaning up years of trash and neglect to better the health of our environment.
Here in the mountains, four local environmental groups came together to orchestrate a three-county cleanup.
The Environmental Conservation Organization, RiverLink, the Western North Carolina Alliance and Asheville GreenWorks each took on a different section of the French Broad River of her waterways.
In two lower sections of the French Broad, 40 paddlers hauled out three dump truck loads of trash, a great effort by those who gave up their Saturday for the water.
70 Volunteers from ECO tackled rivers, creeks and streams throughout Henderson and
The weather was awful - windy with a high of 64 and a driving rain but the volunteers persisted.
Thank you to our Sponsors and Volunteers
for making this cleanup possible.
Dave Donnell, owner of the Asheville Outdoor Center on Amboy Road in Asheville, continually supports these river cleanups by sending out his boats, staff, shuttles and equipment.
Dave has been a fixture of the French Broad for 22 years and a key sponsor for river cleanups in Asheville.
Heath White, owner of Huck Finn Rafting and Zen Tubing, hosted the Buncombe County cleanup from their location on Brevard Road. Zen Tubing shuttled wet and cold volunteers around the county and provided them with much needed respite from the elements.
A special thank you to Amy Snyder - Natural Resources Specialist from Sierra Nevada Brewing for participating in the cleanup and funding the after party for the volunteers.
If you're interested in getting involved in a river cleanup project, water quality testing, paddle trail maintenance, greenways, education and river advocacy reach out to our organizations and together we will improve our environment.