A group of about 45 enthusiastic volunteers turned out on a beautiful Saturday morning in September to help clean up the Swannanoa River. The event was coordinated by Warren Wilson College in cooperation with Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa (FANS). Local residents teamed up with students and faculty from the College to remove trash from the river and its banks.
Armed with orange bags and a “can do” attitude, the volunteers waded downstream, loading canoes with all manner of trash. The haul included countless bottles and cans,
tires, assorted pieces of metal and steel, a very rusty bicycle, and even a kitchen sink! Within a few hours, the volunteers had completely cleaned a three-mile section of the river between the bridge at Whitson Avenue and Owen Park. One of the most satisfying accomplishments of the day was digging out and removing a very large, unsightly piece of twisted metal roofing that had been embedded in the river at Owen Park since the floods of 2004. Yay!
Stay tuned for more news about future river cleanups and other opportunities to get involved in river-related projects.