Rivers Alive freshens up Bainbridge with weekend cleanup

Published 5:49 pm Friday, October 30, 2015

It was an exciting time at the Boat Basin last Saturday as volunteers showed up to participate in Rivers Alive, the annual cleanup of watershed areas of the Flint River.

Who wants a 2005 Gold parking pass to watch the Bainbridge Bearcats football team play? That, along with diapers, a doll head, jar of garlic, road sign, ceramic tile, rug, underwear and a hairnet were some of the more unusual finds during Saturday’s cleanup. The usual fare of food wrappers, glass and plastic bottles, cans and just general trash was abundant, but it was cheerfully dispensed into trash bags and into a roll-off container for proper disposal by the cleanup team.

Yes, the 2015 Rivers Alive is in the bag. Few things have delighted event organizer Suzanne Brandt as much as this year’s turnout.  Volunteers kept coming and coming, with around 75 percent of them being under the age of 13, she said.

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“Panther and Bobcat teams from Hutto were there in force,” Brandt said. “Elcan King K-Kids had a large turnout. Boy Scout Troup 502 was there. High School Interact Students went out with Rotary Club.  There were many adults present, and we are grateful, but I know they won’t mind that this year’s story is mainly about the kids.”

Brandt stressed that getting these Decatur County youth proactive in this battle ensures a future with involved citizens who have a work ethic to know change doesn’t occur unless you become the change.

“This large group of kids will influence their parents, siblings and friends,” Brandt said. “It’s an exciting time and momentum we must keep alive.”

While the exact tonnage of trash collected isn’t known yet, based on the number of bags collected and according to Keep America Beautiful standards, 1,400 pounds of garbage and debris was kept from its sure journey into the Flint River. A group of volunteers also cleaned the Spring Creek banks from a boat, as they have done for several years.

Brandt would like to thank the KDCB members who helped, the Lions Club, Bainbridge College Science Club, Rotary Club, Billy Dollar’s family and friends, Hutto teachers and students, Elcan-King teachers and students, miscellaneous parents who cleaned while waiting to pick their children up, Kristen Bautista and family, Grace Christian Academy students and Boy Scouts Troup 502.