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River Clean Up July 17
River Cleanup.jpg
Sally Alexander hauls a load of trash on her kayak during the last Breakfast Rotary River Ride and Cleanup in 2019.

By Bethany Porter

McMinnville’s Breakfast Rotary Club will be holding the 14th annual River Ride and Clean Up on Saturday, July 17.

The cleanup starts at 7:30 a.m. at Pepper Branch Park and volunteers are needed. Those who wish to volunteer need to register at www.breakfastrotary.org. Breakfast and lunch will be provided to volunteers.

Breakfast Rotary Club member Neal Cox said this is a great way for Tennessee Promise recipients to get volunteer hours as well as help out the environment.  

This year’s clean-up is a big deal due to the pandemic interfering with the 2020 river ride, so Breakfast Rotary is giving away free T-shirts to the first 200 who register. Organizers are hoping for more volunteers this year.

Breakfast Rotary encourages volunteers to bring their own kayaks and life jackets. The registration form on the website has a place where volunteers can indicate if they do, or do not, have their own life jackets and kayaks, and if they can provide additional life jackets or kayaks. 

Kayaks will be available for those who do not have their own. Gloves and first aid kits will also be provided.

The clean-up will start at Pepper Branch Park and end at Rocket Park. They are expecting to clean up 50 miles of waterways. In comparison, when they first started, they only cleaned about three of the 100 miles of waterways.

Cox said this river clean-up is an important thing for the community and environment due to all the trash thrown into the river. On past rides, trash and multiple tires have been found, as well as an entire Chevrolet truck according to Cox. 

Hundreds of volunteers are needed and welcome to register to clean up the river. 

For additional information, contact Neal Cox at (931) 235-5660.