Royal Gorge River Initiative Organization (RGRIO) and American Rivers returned to Fremont County last weekend for their second year hosting the Arkansas River Clean Up with the help of 67 volunteers. During this annual event, river users are encouraged to participate in any way they feel most comfortable. Volunteers could choose to walk along the riverwalk, wade on the river bank, or paddle in the water to pick up litter. The event was a combined effort of 5 clean up sites that covered over 42 miles of river and streams. This year 1,811 pounds of trash was removed making 1.7 tons removed over the past two events.
“The river clean up is our favorite event.” said Chris Moffett, president RGRIO and project coordinator. “Not only do we have a dedicated group of local volunteers who help out, but there are participants that come from all over the state to spend a Sunday with us.”
Volunteers donated over 252 combined hours gathering a range of single-use food items such as cans and bottles, car parts and tires, water recreation items from fishing, tubing, rafting, a range of trash that had been blown into the river from wind storms or loosely stowed items in vehicles.
“We don’t believe that this stuff was necessary dumped into the river. However, most lost items will find their way there.”
Following the event volunteers gathered at Centennial Park for a small celebration where lunch and prizes were awarded.
“The visual statement of the pile of trash doesn’t give enough credit to the hard work, grit, and determination spent finding it and transporting it out. It is vital that our community continues to help preserve our resources and wildlife. The river is our source of clean drinking water, irrigation for farmlands, and place of recreation.”
Special thanks to our sponsors Pizza Madness, Coming Home Reality, Castle Crafts Windows, Storm Water, Royal Gorge Bridge, Royal Gorge Route, FAR, and Driftwood and Clay.
Anyone interested in volunteering for future events can contact RGRIO at firstname.lastname@example.org.