Cohesion Triumphs in River Restoration Effort
With several options at hand for the removal of accumulated waste along Valley River, volunteers faced a time-sensitive challenge. The threat of prolonged labor under a sky hazed by nearby forest fires added a layer of urgency to the cleanup efforts.
Amidst the backdrop of smoke and the ticking clock, Mayor James Reid and the team of volunteers orchestrated a rapid response to an issue that had long marred the local environment.
The strategic move of securing a backhoe and a dump truck to optimize the cleanup process, coupled with the committed hands of approximately 15 volunteers, resulted in the efficient extraction of more than 2,000 pounds of trash in just about 2.5 hours—a testament to what community resolve and quick thinking can achieve.
As the volunteers worked diligently, the air filled with the scent of smoke served as a stark reminder of the broader environmental challenges facing the region. In such a context, Mayor Reid’s plea to maintain the cleanliness of the river resonated even more profoundly.
“If you’re fishing on the river, please don’t throw down trash or make a mess,” the mayor urged in a live video broadcast.
The spirit of unity shone brightly as the diverse group of volunteers – including Trout Unlimited Unaka Chapter #201 members, town employees, local police officers, and residents rallied by social media – worked side by side.
“Our chapter is happy to partner with Mayor Reid to keep the Valley River clean,” said Robert Allen, President of Trout Unlimited Unaka Chapter #201. “It’s a beautiful resource that we all share and want to see last forever.”
Reid echoed those sentiments, highlighting the positive atmosphere that pervaded the event.
“They were some nice guys to work with,” Reid said.