By Kristin Bednarski
The East Fork Watershed Collaborative, the Valley View Foundation and several other organizations are collaborating again this year to organize the annual Spring Litter Clean-Up throughout Clermont County and beyond.
The event will be held April 20, and the organizations are looking for volunteers to help clean up the banks of the East Fork Little Miami River and other green space in the area.
“Last year we had 800 volunteers,” Becky McClatchey, watershed coordinator for the Clermont County Soil and Water Conservation District, said. “We estimated that we removed approximately 20 tons of trash, debris, scrap and tires last year.”
McClatchey said this year, they will have several more sites available and more local schools and businesses participating in the clean-up event.
“One thing that is new this year is the online registration,” McClatchey said about the event. “We are hoping that it eases the process for people and encourages people to sign up.”
McClatchey said registration is open and they already have people signing up to volunteer for the event this year.
Volunteers who sign up to participate in the event will spend the morning picking up trash and other debris at the site they select. All volunteers will receive lunch after the clean-up and a thank-you gift for their hard work.
“Rain or shine, we usually go, unless it is severe weather,” McClatchey said about the event. “Dress for the outdoors.”
Sites in Clermont County include Amelia, Bethel, Felicity, Milford, New Richmond, Owensville, Williamsburg, Withamsville, Clermont County Municipal Court, Clermont County Juvenile Court, Valley View Nature Preserve, Clepper Park, East Fork State Park and Stonelick State Park.
In Highland County there will be a site in Lynchburg, and new this year in Clinton County, there will be a site in Wilmington.
Vanessa Hannah, executive director of the Valley View Foundation, said they always welcome new sites in other communities to join the clean-up efforts.
Hannah said they will also be focusing on recycling this year and recognizing recyclable materials.
McClatchey said the cleanup has an impact on the different sites each year.
“We are making a difference in getting some heavily littered areas cleaned up,” McClatchey said.
She said that unfortunately, however, litter still persists in the community.
“The problem I see is that some of these areas stay clean for a time and then they are littered again,” McClatchey said.
She said education is also important as well as spreading the word that littering is illegal.
“It’s illegal to dump in a stream,” McClatchey said. “There are repercussions for that.”
Other organizations collaborating for the Spring Clean-Up include Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, the Office of Environmental Quality, Clermont County Park District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Harsha Lake, Ohio State University Extension, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources-Division of Parks and Watercraft, Clermont County Water Resources and Loveland Canoe and Kayak.
For more information or to register for the event visit www.clermontswcd.org/cleanup.aspx or contact Valley View at (513) 218-1098 or the Clermont County Soil and Water Conservation District at (513) 732-7075.