KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Once again Ijams Nature Center is getting ready to clean the Tennessee River. The 34th annual River Rescue is planned for April and right now Ijams is calling for volunteers.
The one-day cleanup brings together hundreds of volunteers to remove between 10-40 tons of trash from the Tennessee River’s shorelines and tributary creeks. The event will be held on April 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with sites in Knox, Anderson, Blount and Loudon counties.
“During this cleanup, between 500-1,000 volunteers come together to make a tangible, positive difference in their community,” Ijams Development Director Cindy Hassil said. “It’s eye-opening to participate because you really get to see what ends up in our waterways. Hopefully, it makes people more aware of how they dispose of trash and recyclables and inspires them to look for ways to reduce the amount of waste they create.”
In 2022, 557 volunteers removed more than 21 tons of garbage from 44 sites. The goal for 2023 is to blow the 2022 numbers “out of the water.”
There will be cleanup sites on land, along the shoreline and on the water. Bags, gloves and other supplies will be provided. However, for water clean-ups, personal kayaks or canoes are required.
All of the volunteers will receive a t-shirt featuring a design by Stephen Lyn Bales. The shirt which was created by Allmade used an average of six recycled water bottles for 50 percent of its content, according to Ijams.
The Ijams River Rescue is will be held rain or shine. However, if severe weather is predicted for April 15, the event will move to April 22.
To sign up to volunteer, visit Ijams’ website. The deadline to register is April 1, or until all slots have been filled.