Whitesburg KY

North Fork River Sweep

North Fork River Sweep

Citizen volunteers who want to help clean up the headwaters of the North Fork of the Kentucky River are being asked to meet in Whitesburg on Saturday morning (June 20) before beginning work at four locations in Letcher County.

Letcher County’s first-ever participation in the annual River Sweep cleanup campaign is being sponsored by Childers Oil Company of Whitesburg. The one-day cleanup of trash and debris is in its 20th year and will cover more than 3,000 miles of riverbanks along the Ohio River and all of its tributaries, including the North Fork of the Kentucky. Residents of Kentucky and five other states will be participating.

"River Sweep is very important because for a few hours on one day volunteers can help make a difference in the appearance of this great natural resource," said Jeanne Ison, Project Director in all six states.

Volunteers who want to participate locally are asked to meet at Pine Mountain Grill in Whitesburg at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday to sign in and eat a light breakfast. At 8:30 a.m., volunteers will be divided into groups that will travel to four locations for a cleanup that will last until 2:30 p.m. A box lunch will be provided to all volunteers. Groups are scheduled to return to the Pine Mountain Grill between 2:30 and 3 p.m. to wash up and enjoy a cookout for volunteers that will last until 5 p.m.

Along with interested individuals, scout groups, school groups, church groups, and civic and service organizations are encouraged to participate. Volunteers should wear old, comfortable clothes and close-toed shoes and boots they don’t mind getting dirty.

Prizes will be awarded for most trash collected by a group, most participants in a group, and most unusual find.

Persons wishing more information are asked to call 606-633-2525.

The purpose of the cleanup is to draw attention to the existing litter problem and to take steps to rectify the situation by physically removing the litter through a volunteer effort.

Corporate sponsors in addition to Childers Oil include Ashland Inc., American Electric Power, Toyota and U.S. Steel.

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) is the chief governing sponsor. Other sponsoring agencies include the Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet and the Kentucky River Authority. ORSANCO is the water pollution control agency for the Ohio River and its tributaries.

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