Volunteers are still needed for the Kentucky River Cleanup, which is scheduled for Saturday, June 16, starting at 9 a.m.
Volunteers will receive a free T-shirt and a certificate of participation as well as a free lunch, said Franklin Nooe, a volunteer with the Mercer County Chamber of Commerce. Nooe is organizing this year’s river sweep in Mercer County.
“It’s important for people to realize how vital this river is,” he said.
Cleanup will be focused on Oregon Landing this year, he said.
While the Kentucky River runs through 42 different counties, 19 are participating in this year’s river sweep, said Sue Ann Richmond, executive staff advisor with the Kentucky River Authority, which has been organizing cleanups for 23 years.
Back when they started, large appliances like washing machines and refrigerators—even cars—were often found floating in the river, Richmond said. “We don’t see that a lot anymore,” she said.
Today, volunteers mostly recover household trash, especially plastic bottles, she said. Richmond attributes the decline in garbage to volunteer cleanups, mandatory trash collection and to education efforts.
“This is our drinking water, we need to keep it clean,” she said.
Over 700,000 Kentuckians rely on the river for their drinking water, Richmond said, including everyone in Mercer County who gets their water from either the City of Harrodsburg, the City of Burgin or the North Mercer Water District. To register, call the Mercer County Chamber of Commerce at 734-2365. For more information, call Franklin Nooe at 386-341-5187.