River Sweep cleanup helps beautify a key community resource

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By Jeff Moore

While the Ohio River is such an important part of life in Carroll County, we often take it for granted.

The river is the reason we have many of the industries in our community that provide jobs for local residents and for those throughout the region. It is also one of the reasons that the county attracts so many tourists to the area each year.

On Saturday morning, the Ohio River will be the focus of a large group of volunteers who will hit the riverbanks to rid it of debris and garbage that collects through the year as the river levels rise and decline.

Carroll County River Sweep, sponsored by Carrollton Main Street Program and North American Stainless, draws a crowd of more than 150 people each year to tackle the annual cleanup job. This year’s event is set for Saturday, June 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

River Sweep is a regional effort coordinated by the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission. In Carroll County, volunteers focus their attention to the riverbanks between Point Park to Dow Corning.

It’s easy to become a volunteer. Just show up at Point Park around 8:30 a.m. Main Street will provide the bags and gloves that each participant needs, along with a free 2009 River Sweep t-shirt.

Those who take part will also receive a variety of prizes and chances to win more during the event. Each family taking part in River Sweep will receive a first aid kit, provided by the Community Advisory Panel of Arkema and Dow Corning. North American Stainless will also provide a gift for each person that turns out for the event.

Everyone joining the effort will also have the chance to win some items that are considered “hot technology.”

Adults will be entered into a drawing for a wireless Toshiba laptop computer and those under age 18 will have a chance at winning an ASUS netbook computer.

Additionally, participants will have the chance to win an iPod, donated for the event by the Community Advisory Panel of Dow Corning and Arkema.

Youngsters in the community also have the opportunity to win savings bonds in the amount ranging from $300 to $100 for the River Sweep poster contest.

Judging for the posters will take place in three age categories —  grades kindergarten through third, fourth grade through seventh and eighth through 12th grades. First place bond is $300, while second place is $200 and the third place winner gets a $100 bond.

Posters for judging must be turned in at Point Park by 8:30 a.m. (See complete rules of the contest on page 11.)

After all of the hard work is done along the banks of the Ohio River, there will be a free picnic lunch, sponsored by Dow Corning-Carrollton Site. The  lunch will include hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and a soft drink.

Pitch in with your neighbors this week and help make a difference in our community’s beauty. Join the River Sweep effort on Saturday morning and we’ll all reap the rewards during the beautiful summer months ahead.

I hope to see you there.