We had record attendance at the cleanup this year! But first let me say and I couldn’t have done it without the support of our club officers Jerry, Cheryl, Wes, Jeff & Scott. All the help with organizing, getting the food, helping to pick up donations and TVA bags was a huge help! At sign-in time there was an overwhelming period of giving out location assignments and organizing clean teams that was very exciting. After getting everyone on their way at all the pacific points of focus I teamed up with a small band of merry volunteers and set off to the Saw Mill put in. The weather was perfect and the water was wonderful!
From this years heavy rains there were a lot of debris piles full of bottles and all sorts of other stuff. We found clothes, boots, cans, pipes, plastic, metal pieces, barbed wire and even a microwave and stuffed animals! What was the name of that doll again Phyllis? Jerry reports that we cleaned up 3 full truck loads of trash with several tires. And Michael took trailer loads of trash too. I also have reports that many of you took your bags directly to the dump so we really got a lot out of the river!
One of the participants that was new to attending the cleanup said. It made her mad to find so much trash carelessly left in the river. That comment reminded me of when we started concentrating on these sections of river. It use to be much, much worse. I can’t explain how bad it was through Bumpass Cove and across from the Saw Mill a decade ago. Heck I can remember there being a mini van in the river that stayed there for two years before the County got it out!
At Chestoa park the Sheriff showed up with manpower to help out too and that was a total surprise! They will definitely get a letter of gratitude from us!
We timed our duties to be finished around 3:00 and were all getting off the river and playing in the hole at the Big Rock about the same time. It’s always such a pleasure to be at the Riverpark Campground. The atmosphere is so festive when the river is right and the boaters are there! Cheryl’s pics reflect the good time had by all! Nancy & Brucie are hero’s to let us have free access to it for the cleanup!
The food was wonderful. Cheryl out did herself with BBQ from the best local restaurant and all the fixins and some WONDERFUL cookies! There wasn’t even crumbs left of those! I made the club style beans we look forward to each year and many others helped with the set up.
The Toluenes band was a big hit too. They were friends of mine from Gatlinburg who are an acoustic duo with really good stage presents and also coming out into the crowd and working it for audience participation. They helped me with giving away all the prizes donated by our sponsors and holding the grand prize for last being a scholarship for a swift water rescue course at Landmark Learning. The winners being a new couple who own property on the river and are boaters too! I won it one year and it is a really good course that’s made me a safer boater!
I want to thank the volunteers from The Carolina Canoe Club, TEHCC, The Chota Club and The Johnson City Team River Runners. This was the first year TRR has participated and they were a big help with parking, driving a trash runner trailer and with shuttling. Not to mention hard working helpers on the river!
Special thanks to Mahoney’s this year too. They were responsible for getting a monetary donation from Columbia Sportswear and then Matched it! It completely covered our food and the band expenses! Then on top of that sent a team to come help with the cleanup!
Thanks to all! But in the grand finale of this report, it was such a pleasure to see so many APE’s come out this year and give their ALL! Our work shows and brings a smile to my face every time I paddle the Nolichucky and see how much better the river is looking!
Debbie’s Noli Cleanup Photos are here: http://community.webshots.com/album/580305480BdlBMP
Cheryl Killman’s Noli Cleanup Photos are here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1909316607325.106123.1074133134&l=28096744f6