‘Don’t muck the Duck’
Volunteers brave dismal weather to cleanup sections of the Duck River
Old Stone Fort Seasonal Interpretative Park Ranger Kirsti Tuers, volunteer Brian Wofford, Seasonal Maintenance Worker John Hill and volunteer Robbie Shipley prepare to paddle the Duck River collecting litter.
–Staff photos by John Coffelt
Volunteers concerned with the environment took part in two separate Duck River cleanup events Saturday.
The morning event, sponsored in part by the Tennessee Duck River Development Agency, was held at Normandy Dam.
Tonya Wilkinson, of Keep Coffee County Beautiful, said that the weather might have reduced this year’s numbers.
OSF Seasonal Maintenance Worker John Hill, of Knoxville, removes a plastic barrel top from under the Highway 41 Bridge.
Despite the threatening rain, 27 volunteers participated.
The local chapter of the American Heritage Girls, a religious community program similar to the Girl Scouts of America, joined the effort.
“American Heritage Girls really emphasizes community service, so we try to do different projects an better the community,” said Troop Shepard Teresa Barber, of Moore County.
She said that to serve is part of the group’s oath.
“Every month we try to do a project to give back.”
Volunteer Anna Campbell, 14, said that she participated in the event over a concern for wildlife.
“The animals could get caught in trash or eat something that could harm them. I guess it’s not really good for the environment in the first place.”
Volunteer Jessica Brown, 11, collects litter at the Duck River Cleanup.
Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park held a cleanup Saturday in which volunteers picked up litter from canoes.
Despite a small turnout, volunteers were able to collect much of the trash from the 1-½ miles of shoreline from Bluehole Falls to the Highway 41 Bridge.
“The event went really well,” Tuers said. “We had several volunteers out on the water removing objects such as tires, pieces of furniture, bottles, old fishing line and grocery bags from the river. In all we had six bags of trash that finally made it to the proper place: the trash.”
She reminds the public that “Old Stone Fort State Park and the city of Manchester is home to a variety of wildlife, and maintaining clean water will ensure it stays that way. The Duck River is recognized by National Geographic as one of the top five rivers in the world for its biodiversity. Tennessee as a whole has one of the most diverse fish populations in the entire United States, and keeping our environment litter-free protects their habitat and our recreational areas.”
Tuers said that the park will hold another canoe float to clean up the Duck River at the end of July.
The date is still being planned but more information will be available on Facebook at “Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park” along with event updates on programs throughout the summer.