KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Volunteers removed more than 18 tons of trash from four rivers within the Cherokee National Forest along the Tennessee Virginia and North Carolina borders.

Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful hosted the monthlong Cherokee National Forest River Cleanup Series. Forty-seven volunteers removed 16,648 pounds of trash from four different rivers.

“As awe-inspiring as the natural scenery is around the Cherokee National Forest’s rivers, we were even more inspired by the enthusiasm of our volunteers that took each cleanup to the highest level possible,” said Kathleen Gibi, Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful executive director.

KTNRB released a list showing the results of their series:

  • Feb. 12 — Tellico Lake of the Little Tennessee River in Vonore, 4,742 pounds. 
  • Feb. 13 — Parksville Lake of the Ocoee River in Benton, TN 2,288 pounds.
  • Feb. 26 — Watauga Lake of the Watauga River in Elizabethton, TN 4,616 pounds.
  • Feb. 27 — South Holston Lake on the Holston River in Abingdon, VA 1,693 pounds. 
  • March 5 — Tellico Lake of the Little Tennessee River in Vonore, TN 3,309 pounds.

The nonprofit said a total of 381 bags of trash and 89 tires were collected.

“The impressive numbers we reached over the last four weeks wouldn’t have been possible without our hard-working volunteers and collaborative partners,” Gibi said. “It takes a village to put the kind of trash into the river that our volunteers pulled out, and this series showed the fact that we’ve got a strong village willing to protect our waterways at the same time.”