I participated in my first litter clean-up in the spring of my junior year of high school with my PRIDE (Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment) Club. At the time I didn’t really think much of it other than that it was a pretty Saturday to be out with my classmates earning bonus points.
West Virginia is rich in outdoor recreation opportunities, especially in our most rural parts of the state. As more and more people are utilizing trails, parks, rivers, and lakes there is also a greater need to maintain those spaces so groups around the state hold fall and spring clean-ups.
In my role with the West Virginia Physical Activity Network, I’m now able to see these clean-ups as much more than an opportunity to earn bonus points. They are an opportunity for West Virginians to get out and be physically active while also taking pride in their community and some of it’s greatest assets.
I can now see that these clean-ups promote physical activity in multiple ways: they allow volunteers to be active while picking up debris, to become more familiar with their community’s trails and socialize with other people who also care about those spaces, and they beautify these spaces for locals and guests to be able to fully enjoy what West Virginia has to offer.
There are a ton of cleanups happening tomorrow as part of National Public Lands Day! Here’s a list of those, and other clean-ups happening across the state this fall:
- National Public Lands Day, East Lynn Lake – September 24 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- Jennings Randolph Lake Clean-Up – September 24
- National Public Lands Day Service Project, New River Gorge National River – September 24
- Stonewall Jackson Lake Clean-Up – September 24
- Guyandotte River Clean-Up – September 24 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- Fayette County Park – September 30 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Tygart River Clean-Up – October 8 9 a.m. For more info contact Jeff Kresch at 304-940-11106
- Harrison Rail Trails – November-January
- Little Kanawha River Trail – No date set
- Coal River Group Clean-Ups coming up in Boone and Lincoln Counties
If you’re interested in organizing a clean-up in your community later this fall or in the spring check out these resources and opportunities for funding:
- Make WV Shine Application
- Adopt A Highway Information
- Minigrants available from Volunteer West Virginia.
If you know of any clean-ups scheduled for this spring please let me know, and as you schedule clean-ups let me know and I’ll help promote them. Maybe I’ll even role up my sleeves and join you!