River cleanup eyes volunteers

GREENFIELD — Each year, John David Boles heads up the Green River Cleanup, and this year is no different.

Boles said the cleanup will be held a week earlier this year on Sept. 27, and he hopes to have 300 or more volunteers show up.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” he said. “Last year we were still cleaning up from (Tropical Storm) Irene.”

Boles said the cleanup produced about 24 tons of trash last year, which included metal, tires, batteries, propane tanks and more.

He said a couple of spots along the Green River near the Deerfield River will be included in the cleanup this year.

“We are going to have Lane Construction helping this year,” said Boles. “The company will be using a backhoe and other equipment to help with the really heavy stuff ... and on steep embankments.”

Boles is again working with the Connecticut River Watershed Council for the annual cleanup of the river, which he lives along.

The Connecticut River Watershed Association, Deerfield River Watershed Association and Friends of the Green River will hold the cleanup from 9 a.m to 3 p.m. based at Green River Swimming and Recreation Area on Nashs Mill Road.

Boles said a planning meeting will be held in several weeks.

In past years, the cleanup has brought out between 200 and 300 volunteers who collected several tons of trash.

Boles said he hopes each year to collect more than the year before and to have more volunteers.

The local cleanup is part of the larger “Source to the Sea” yearly cleanup along 410 miles of waterway in the Connecticut River Valley.

Over the past 11 years, Green River Cleanup volunteers have collected tires, furniture, inflatable pools, toys, dirty diapers, and one year they found kittens left in a crate by the river. The kittens were alive and ended up going to the local shelter. If it hadn’t been for cleanup volunteers, they probably would not have been found alive.

For more information, to donate, or to report a cleanup site, call the CRWC at 413-772-2020 and leave a message for Boles.

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