April 23, 2017
BASSETT-While some marched in support of science in Martinsville and across the country, other volunteers walked through Blackberry Creek on Saturday, hauling canoes full of trash.
A group of volunteers celebrated Earth Day by wading and canoeing down a two-mile section of the creek that feeds into the Smith River. The Dan River Basin Association and Smith River Outfitters organized the cleanup, providing canoes, bags and litter pickers to people who wanted to help.
“We targeted a section of the creek where we have noticed the most trash and debris as it runs behind houses and fields before it enters the Smith River”, said Brian Williams, program manager with the Dan River Basin Association. “We [also] had some other volunteers cleaning up down at the end of Shady View Road right along the edge of the river.”
All total, Williams said, the group ended up with an estimated 300 pounds of trash collected. It was important to clean the trash, as Blackberry Creek plays host to a number of animals. More than 23 species of fish inhabit the creek as it runs from Sanville to the Smith River.
Pat and Tina Sharpe have property along the creek and were among the volunteers taking part. They actually got started early, beginning the cleanup on Friday.
“This really is a beautiful creek and it needs protection,” Pat Sharpe said. “I'm amazed at the amount of trash, but it's a lot cleaner now. I hope people will see that we care about this creek and the Smith River and make an effort to help keep it clean.”
Lisa Perez and her children, Dillon Aidan and Anna, meanwhile, are all veteran clean up volunteers, participating each year.
“It’s sad to see the trash and discarded junk like garden hoses and metal, we even found a trampoline and a weed-eater, all in the creek,” Lisa said. “You don’t realize how beautiful the creek is until you actually wade down it, but it also breaks your heart to see the trash.
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