Harrisonburg Public Works holds 23rd annual Blacks Run Clean Up Day, Arbor Day tree planting

The clean up day looked a little different this year with smaller groups and masks.
After being canceled last year, volunteers were out again this Saturday cleaning up Blacks Run.
Published: Apr. 10, 2021 at 7:18 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - On Saturday, Harrisonburg Public Works held its annual Arbor Day Tree Planting and their 23rd annual Blacks Run Clean Up Day.

The clean up day was canceled last year due to the pandemic, but those involved were happy to they could be back together this year.

“It means a lot from the volunteers’ perspective and from an environmental perspective to be able to have this event again,” Kelly Adams, Outreach and Communication Specialist with public works, said.

The event is sponsored by the Zane Showker Endowment, and almost 200 volunteers signed up to lend a helping hand.

The cleanup day looked a little different this year; groups were smaller and registration was held in a drive-thru format.

“The people don’t have to get out of their vehicles. So, it’s worked out and I’m just glad we can have the event this year just due to the pandemic,” Wes Runion, Environmental Specialist with public works, said.

Along with the stream clean up, about 50 trees were planted at the Northend Greenway.

Students at James Madison University were helped with the project.

“Being able to come out here and give back to this community that is apart from JMU but as JMU students and as a class together, I think is really cool and also really important to remind other students that we live here and we make an impact, so we have to do our part to give back,” Gigi Goldstein, a junior at James Madison University, said.

Blacks Run travels through most of the Friendly City, and those involved in the cleanup say it is important to keep blacks run clean because it feeds into larger bodies of water.

“Blacks Run has been a concern for many years, and we’re actually starting to find fish in the run again. Not a whole lot, but there are a few making their presence known and we are really excited about that. That just goes to show how the restoration efforts and the clean up efforts for Blacks Run are making an impact,” Adams said.

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