It’s time to spruce up the Tuck

Volunteers are needed for the 28th annual Tuckasegee River Clean Up, planned for Saturday, April 21.

Western Carolina University will present the 28th annual Tuckasegee River Clean Up on Saturday, April 21, and is looking for volunteers to help remove trash from part of the Jackson County river.

Registration for the event will be on the A.K. Hinds University Center lawn from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the first 500 to register receiving a free T-shirt. There is no early registration for the event.

After volunteers are issued a life jacket and paddle, Base Camp Cullowhee (WCU’s outdoor program organization) will provide transportation to the river, where participants will receive trash bags and listen to a talk on safety. Volunteers should anticipate two to three hours of work.

Rafts are self-guided, and rafters must weigh at least 40 pounds. Walking trails are an option for volunteers who do not meet the weight requirement or who do not want to raft. Organizers suggest eating lunch before arriving and wearing shoes that won’t come off in the water (such as tennis shoes or sandals with a back strap).

Volunteers are invited back to the UC lawn after the cleanup for a free cookout, live entertainment and the chance to win prizes donated by local businesses (winners must be present to win).

The Tuckasegee River Clean Up is the largest single-day effort to clean up a river in the country, with the event’s approximately 800 volunteers annually removing tons of garbage from 27 miles of the river. The event originally was organized by the students and staff of WCU’s Outdoor Programs and attracted concerned volunteers who recognized the need to clean up the river.

For more information, contact Jennifer Bennett, coordinator of the Tuckasegee River Clean Up, at 828-227-3625 or More information also is available at the website