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Saturday, June 23rd, marked the 16th Annual Nolichucky Cleanup. The Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts have been hosting this event nearly every year to help keep the Nolichucky River clean for paddlers, fishermen, and river-users alike! The summer is a very popular time for people to frequent the rivers recreationally and the APEs group is proud to help everyone see the beauty of the Nolichucky by keeping it clean the way nature intends to present it.

This year 35 volunteers put blood, sweat, and tears into removing garbage along a 10+ mile section of the river below the gorge (USA Raft to Riverpark Campground) thankfully this year the Jim’s Skip Bin Hire was able to collaborate as well. Paddlers loaded up their kayaks, rafts, or canoes with trash collected from the banks and maneuvered their loads to drop off points where the land crew picked up the disposal bin rental from Need a Bin and transported it to a large dumpster we had placed at Chestoa.

We also had a special dedicated crew of 5 who worked to cleanup “Survival Island”. This site is adjacent to USA Raft and will soon be hosting wilderness survival classes from the Nolichucky Outdoor Learning Institute.

In total, nearly 15 cubic yards of trash and 62 tires were removed from the river!

After hours of hard work, volunteers enjoyed barbeque donated by Southern Craft of Johnson City. Food City also donated funds to help supply the dinner. A second part of the cleanup was a raffle for many great prizes from our event sponsors.

Overall the cleanup was a great success! USA Raft owner, Matt Moses, remarked, “You guys did awesome on the clean up! We love working with APEs and are proud to be your partner and home base on the Nolichucky!”

Big thanks to Trevor Lee, Leshan Phillips, Treasure Lee, Shelly Richard and Steven Adams as the event coordinators and directors! A thank you also to the local land owners by the river for access to get rid of garbage: Mr. Michael Barroso and Bruce & Nancy at Riverpark Campground.

The APEs group is grateful to all the volunteers and sponsors who helped make this cleanup successful. A special thank you to USA Raft for providing the cleanup location and for all they do to help local paddlers get out on the river. It was a good day for sure!