Earth Day Cleanup Keeps Trash Out of New River

Here at WV Rivers we try to treat every day like Earth Day with the actual holiday an extra chance to show some love to the planet we call home. This year we joined forces with the New River Chapter of Generation WV to celebrate Earth Day and give the New River a spring-cleaning.

Lindsay Crance of Oak Hill picks up trash along Rt. 16 in Fayette County.  Photo by Joel Preston Smith. 

We asked the community where we should focus our cleanup efforts. Folks shared that Rt. 16 along Laurel Creek and a section of the New River known as the Dries needed some TLC. This spring is the start of commercial rafting trips on the Dries, a popular section of the New River that is dependent on rainfall or dam releases for rafting and kayaking. With increased tourism on the New River Dries, it was important for WV Rivers and Generation NRG to help the area standout for world-class recreation – not litter scattered along the road and parking areas.

On Saturday, April 20, volunteers braved the pouring rain and chilly weather to remove about 15 bags of trash and half a dozen tires. We did our best to separate recyclables from garbage, limiting our impact on local landfills. Mariah Ritterbush who organized the cleanup for Generation NRG shared, “Cleanups are vital to bringing awareness to the litter problem we have in our area. It has been eye-opening and rewarding to become more intentional and active in taking care of the place we love to call home.”

Want to get involved? Find out how you can volunteer with WV Rivers by emailing and connect with Generation WV on Facebook.

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