Fall River Cleanup With REI

REI Bedford cleanup

Volunteers work together to cleanup the Juniata River, PA | American Rivers

The REI & Keep Bedford County Beautiful annual cleanup is a memorable river cleanup for me.  This was my first official river cleanup as the National River Cleanup® Campaign Manager in September 2011. 

Attending as a veteran this year – I loved recognizing familiar faces in the crowd, meeting new REI employees and members of the community who joined the annual river cleanup efforts.  It’s difficult to pinpoint the best part of this cleanup, but here’s the rundown:

9:00am Donut eating & gathering of 136 REI employees, citizens of Bedford, Pennsylvania and the surrounding region, middle school students, teachers, government officials – lending a helping hand, bright and early on Saturday morning.

9:30am – 11:30am Picking up trash along the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River.  The group split up to cover more ground throughout 15 different site locations along the river.  Together we collected 1.09 tons of trash, recycled 100 lbs of scrap metal and collected 16 tires.  The good news is, this was less trash than we collected in 2011, meaning the river was noticeably cleaner than in years past!

12:00pm BBQ lunch and trash contest.  This year we celebrated our findings with a very competitive contest, awards were given in various categories including:

Just Horrific: Dead Mouse

Still Got Life: Holiday Bell

Most Historic: Good Year Tire Sign & Old Adding Machine

What Were They Thinking?: Electric Candles

Most Aesthetic Value: Decorative Wooden Pine Tree

The Chestnut Ridge Middle School Students swept the competition, winning in the majority of categories!

With another year under our belts – it’s always a pleasure to celebrate the health of a river, clean water, and build community participation through the Bedford County Stream Sweep.  Organize or volunteer at National River Cleanup® near you!