People across our hometowns gather to clean New River

Published: Aug. 27, 2022 at 5:47 PM EDT
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RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - More than 180 Radford community members got their hands dirty for the annual New River Cleanup Saturday.

The Hackworth family came to pick up trash from the river all the way from Shawsville.

“I think it’s really important for me to bring my kids here today,” said Erika Hackworth. “‘Cause It’s important for us to give back to the community, especially when we benefit from such a beautiful park. It’s important for them to see how to take care of stuff, so they don’t litter. And if they do see it they need to pick it up.”

ReNew the New committee comes together every year to give the river a makeover. Radford, Giles, Montgomery, Floyd, and Pulaski counties come together for the New River cleanup event.

“So, it’s a regional approach here in Southwest Virginia and every single locality comes out on this particular day the last Saturday in August and it’s about cleaning up our river and cleaning up our community,” said Radford Economic Development Director Kim Repass.

More than 32 tons of trash and 1,000 tires have been collected from the New River over the years.

Radford University students volunteered to collect trash. Junior Gifty Kwofi says this is a great way to kick off their semester.

“As students, it helps us interact with our community and it helps us be active,” said Kwofi. “We learn more about each other; we branch out to each other.”

Hackworth says every day can be river cleanup day if everyone does their part.

“Even if it’s not a river cleanup day, everyone should be contributing, kinda cleaning up in their own backyard when they can, to just make it beautiful for everyone,” added Hackworth.