After raining all day Friday with thunderstorms and a few tornadoes thrown in, the sun came out bright and early Saturday morning along with 50 volunteers from the Suffolk-Nansemond Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America, the Nansemond River Preservation Alliance as well as some Ecology and ROTC students from Kings Fork High School.
In spite of the somewhat damp conditions, volunteers collected a significant amount of trash and other debris from along the river bank. Approximately 125 bags of trash were picked up. Additionally 50 automobile tires, a lawn mower housing, an automobile bumper and exhaust pipe, 15-20 five gallon plastic buckets, several 55 gallon plastic drums were some of the materials collected.
With the number of volunteers and the enthusiasm they displayed, we were about to run out of trash bags when the Cook Out restaurant and the Farm Fresh grocery store, both located on North Main Street, helped us out by donating additional trash bags. Much of the equipment we use during the river clean ups previously came from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Adopt-A-Stream program but that program was discontinued due to state budget cuts. The city of Suffolk’s Public Works Department has been very helpful in supplying trash grabbers and bags in addition to coordinating with the Suffolk Department of Parks and Recreation to obtain a location to accumulate the trash we collect and subsequently dispose of it.
This was the Suffolk Nansemond IWLA chapter’s third Nansemond River cleanup event and it was definitely a community effort involving dedicated volunteers from several organizations, help and support from the city of Suffolk and the cooperation of local residents and businesses along the river. Based on the smiles and the expressed sense of accomplishment, those involved seemed to have a good time while working hard. It’s not everyone who can enjoy themselves early on a Saturday morning by picking up other people’s trash. I’m sure you have heard the adage ” one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. One of the younger participants found what he referred to as “an antique hub cap”, man what a treasure!