The eighth annual Barren Fork River Cleanup is scheduled July 18.
“We started out cleaning three miles of river from Pepper Branch Park to Rocket Park,” said Rachel Killebrew of the Breakfast Rotary Club and Friends of Our Rivers.
With each year of the event, more of the river has been included. Last year, volunteers removed approximately 30 tons of trash from the river.
The cleanup effort this year will involve more than 10 miles of the river and about 200 volunteers, says Killebrew.
“This year it has expanded to more than 10 miles of river,” she said. “We will have 12 teams of 15-20 people in each team or approximately 200 people.”
Individuals who want to be part of the event are being encouraged to preregister in order to save time the morning of the event. Log onto www.breakfastrotary.org and there will be a link “FOR” (Friends of Our Rivers) in the top right corner of the page.
As always, the cleanup effort begins at Pepper Branch Park. Registration begins at 7 a.m. with breakfast provided to participants. Teams will be assigned at that time.
“Instructions will be provided at Pepper Branch Park and each individual will be assigned to a team. Teams will be given trash bags, gloves, life jackets. The team leader will assign each team member to a boat and bandanas will be worn so teams can recognize each other,” said Killebrew.
The first team leaves around 7:30 a.m. and the last team leaves around 9 a.m. Buses will be used to transport people from the end of the cleanup effort back to their vehicles at Pepper Branch Park.
Killebrew says the event has two goals: to have fun and to beautify.
“Fun is a big goal as well as picking up trash so the trip has been planned so that you float and just relax until you reach your section of the river your team is assigned to clean up,” said Killebrew. “We have a gorgeous river that runs right through our downtown so come and enjoy, meet some wonderful folks, have a great breakfast and help to keep our river clean.”
This year’s sponsors are: TVA, Warren County Utility District, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (Platinum); River Park Hospital (Gold); Bridgestone, Caney Fork Electric, Jarden, McMinnville Electric System (Silver).
For their continued support, organizers would like to offer a special thanks to Noon Rotary, USA Gym, Middle Tennessee Natural Gas, city of McMinnville, Boy Scouts, Kids of the Community, Smooth Rapids, Warren Farmer’s Coop, Warren County Interact clubs, and Friends of Our Rivers.
For more information, call Neal Cox at 235-5660 or Rachel Killebrew at 808-3419.