Volunteers take to the river to ‘paddle out pollution’
Members of the Kentucky RiverKeeper, Eastern Kentucky University’s Community Service Organization, Students for Appalachia and some local volunteers gathered under the Irvine Bridge on Saturday morning, April 14, with a mission. Their goal was to “paddle out pollution” as they set out on the water in canoes and kayaks to collect trash from the river banks.
Organized by Kentucky Riverkeeper, a group working to incorporate river pools 11 and 12 into the Kentucky Water Trail system, the purpose of the event was not only to clean up the river but to survey it for good access points and areas of interest to include on maps and brochures.
Volunteers spent three or four hours on the water and collected several bags of garbage, then met back under the bridge for a meal.
Pat Banks, Kentucky’s Riverkeeper and a professional artist who helped organize the event, displayed a sample of the hand-painted signs that are being created to display in local businesses identifying Estill County River as part of the Kentucky Water Trail System. The state’s network of water trails will eventually be included in the National Park system.