June is National Rivers Month and since 1989, the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) and other interstate environmental agencies have organized a cleanup of the waterway, from its origin in Pittsburgh to its terminus in Cairo, Illinois.
This Saturday, June 12, volunteers can get their hands dirty while cleaning up the Ohio River during the Covington portion of this event.
“You just never know what you’ll find on the banks of the river,” says Sheila Fields, Covington’s Solid Waste and Recycling coordinator, in a release. “One year we dug a shopping cart out of the mud, and our scouting trips have already revealed a bookcase and a freezer.”
Other weird stuff people have found, according to Fields:
- a wheelchair tire;
- a weight attached to a chain;
- old baby dolls;
- the carcass of a 3-foot alligator;
- a basketball rim;
- smokeless tobacco cans;
- soccer balls;
- and plenty of plastic bottles.
If you're interested in seeing what you'll discover, volunteers are meeting just before 9 a.m. on the river side of the Covington flood wall. Registration for groups or individuals is available online.
Small teams will then make their way east and west — with provided gloves, tools, trash bags and water — to start the sweep. Wear sturdy shoes and clothes you aren't afraid to get muddy and bring a mask. The event runs until noon.
Free food will be available at Lil's Bagels (a bagel and coffee) and Butler's Pantry (a lunch sandwich and drink).
Last year, three teams of 10 people filled a 30-cubic-yard Dumpster with 3.19 tons of debris, according to the release. Cans and plastic bottles were taken to be recycled.
For more information, visit keepcovingtonbeautiful.com.