Volunteers are needed to help remove trash from Jackson County’s primary waterway during the 29th annual Tuckaseigee River Cleanup, which will be presented Saturday, April 20, by Western Carolina University’s Base Camp Cullowhee.
Registration for individuals and groups willing to help clean up the river will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 20 on the lawn of WCU’s A.K. Hinds University Center. There is no preregistration for the event. Volunteers will be issued life jackets and paddles, and then will be transported to the river, where they will listen to safety tips and get trash bags before setting off down the river on self-guided rafts.
After several hours of navigating the river and removing trash, volunteers will be transported back to the University Center lawn for activities starting at 5 p.m., including a free cookout, live entertainment and a chance to win door prizes donated by local businesses. Winners must be present to receive door prizes. The first 500 volunteers who register also receive a free T-shirt.
All participants who ride rafts during the cleanup must weigh at least 40 pounds and wear shoes that will not come off in the water, such as tennis shoes or sandals with a back-strap. Organizers also suggest that volunteers eat lunch before registration. An alternative walker’s route is available for those who prefer to not raft on the river.
The first large-scale effort to clean up the Tuckaseigee River, organized by students and staff of WCU’s Outdoor Programs, took place 29 years ago. The event has grown over the years to become the nation’s largest single-day effort to clean up a river, drawing around 800 volunteers annually to help remove an average of three to five tons of garbage from 27 miles of river.
For more information, contact Jenna White, coordinator of the Tuckaseigee River Cleanup for Base Camp Cullowhee, at 864-906-7444.