On Saturday, Sept. 8, MountainTrue’s French Broad, Green and Watauga Riverkeepers are coming together to participate in the 31st Annual 2018 Big Sweep, Western North Carolina’s largest single-day river, roadside and creek cleanup. MountainTrue is the oldest grassroots environmental non-profit in North Carolina and champions resilient forests, clean waters and healthy communities. The non-profit organization also incorporates governmental involvement in their platform, advocating for public policies that protect the environment. Community engagement is prioritized to strengthen the organization’s influence in keeping our environment healthy and promoting sustainability.
The Big Sweep events establish connections with the community and environment. “Living on a river comes with an awareness of its importance to our community. We love getting out onto the water and we know how important it is to local business, not just outfitters and fishing guides, but restaurants and mom and pop shops too. The river gives us so much. The annual Big Sweep is our opportunity to give back. It’s a day of getting dirty, pulling trash and debris from the river, followed by a celebration at AMB. It’s a good time going good for our community followed by good beer,” Andy Hill, Watauga Riverkeeper, said.
According to MountainTrue’s website, last year’s Big Sweep event attracted 253 volunteers and removed a record-breaking 3.9 tons of trash from Western North Carolina’s waterways. This year, the organization hopes to exceed those numbers.
The 2018 Big Sweep will be located in Fletcher, NC, from 1:00-8:00 p.m. Volunteers will meet at Westfeldt Park on Fanning Bridge Road. There will be three different watersheds open for registration: The French Broad River Watershed, the Green River Watershed and the Watauga River Watershed. Cleanups are paired with after-parties at Sierra Nevada Brewing in Mills River and Appalachian Mountain Brewery in Boone, where cleanup volunteers will gather to celebrate their hard work and enjoy great beer.
On Sept. 8, join MountainTrue in cleaning our rivers and defending our environment. The following are the three different watersheds open for registration along with details regarding locations and how to register:
French Broad River Watershed:
Westfeldt Park Cleanup with Sierra Nevada Brewing After-Party: Join the French Broad Riverkeeper for a float, a clean up of our river and an after-party at Sierra Nevada Brewing’s Mills River location. The first ten folks to register will receive the 2018 Recover Brands Riverkeeper Beer Series shirt. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/big-sweep-beer-series-cleanup-and-party-with-sierra-nevada-tickets-48389994777
Green River Watershed:
Green Whitewater Cleanup: Paddle the whitewater of the Green River Gorge and help us pick up litter and haul out river debris along the way. There will be an after-party at Sierra Nevada Brewing in Mills River. Please bring your own boat. Meet at: 2302 Green River Cove Rd, Saluda, NC 28773
Lake Adger Cleanup: Meet us the Lake Adger Boat Ramp and Marina to help clean up beautiful Lake Adger and its shoreline. There will be an after-party at Sierra Nevada Brewing in Mills River. Meet at: https://goo.gl/maps/m1coW8qfTMJ2
Register for both cleanups here: https://secure.everyaction.com/21Y3iabpJU2Yk2SAthAbHw2
Watauga River Watershed:
Watauga River Cleanup at Guy Ford Road River Access: Meet us at the Guy Ford Road River Access and help us clean up this popular swimming hole and recreation area. There will be an after-party at Appalachian Mountain Brewery in Boone. Register here: https://secure.everyaction.com/9iMcq7zcdEWpEzIpfudzyQ2
2018 Big Sweep sponsors: Asheville Greenworks, 98.1 the River, French Broad Outfitters, Mills River Partnership, Asheville Outdoor Center, Lazy Otter Outfitters, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Nantahala Outdoors Center (NOC) and Eagles Nest Outfitter (ENO).