MEIGS COUNTY — It’s time again for the Ohio River Sweep, and the Meigs Soil and Water Conservation District is asking anyone who would like to help to come out and join the group of “sweepers” this Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.
This cleanup day for the Ohio River and its tributaries began in 1989 and brings thousands of volunteers to the riverbanks to collect tons of trash and debris. River Sweep encompasses the entire length of the river, from its origin in Pittsburgh to its end in Cairo, Ill., including nearly 3,000 miles of shoreline and many tributaries in six states.
The Sweep event is organized by the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, an interstate water pollution agency for the Ohio River Valley, along with environmental protection and natural resource agencies from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
More than 17,000 volunteers came together in 2015 to collect more than 7,000 tons of trash and other debris from the banks of the Ohio River and its tributaries.
More than 100 sites along the river will be participating in this environmental event, and Meigs SWCD will coordinate two of those: one site is at the largest gazebo in Pomeroy, the other at Star Mill Park in Racine.
Participants should wear old, comfortable clothes and close-toed shoes or boots that you won’t mind getting dirty. Trash bags and a limited number of gloves will be provided. If you have work gloves, your are asked to bring your own.
Complimentary pizza and soft drinks will be provided for sweepers by donations from Farmers Bank, Peoples Bank, Jaymar, Pepsi of Athens, Hill’s Sunco and Fox’s Pizza. Sweepers will also receive T-shirts provided by ORSANCO-Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission.
According to Jenny Ridenour, education coordinator/district technician for the Meigs SWCD, this is an opportunity for scouts and 4-H groups to earn community service. Church youth groups, ball teams, sportsman clubs, teachers, business and general community members can show respect for Meigs County communities by helping clean up and by keeping them clean by properly disposing of waste.
“It is not such a big job if everyone helps. We also need to teach our youth that it is important to keep our county clean,” she said.
Volunteers must sign a waiver of liability, and anyone under 18 years old must have parental permission to participate. An on-site supervisor will be available in Pomeroy and Racine with waivers and to answer questions.
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155, Ext. 2551.