by Crystal Gottfried
After the Labor Day holiday ends each year, as the “tubing” season comes to an unofficial close, the Friends for Rivers begins their annual clean-up event on the Guadalupe River.
As many as a thousand or more boy scouts, along with over sixty scuba divers, river outfitters, community volunteers, and homeowners plan to spend Saturday, Sept. 23, in the water and all along the banks of the river, picking up all the “goodies” that thousands of summer visitors have left behind.
River Project Manager for New Braunfels Parks & Recreation Nathan Pence, a member of Friends for Rivers, has organized the event along with the help of Water Oriented Recreation District managers, directors and permit holders, and so many others in the area who either live or make their living along the river, as well as those conservationists who want to protect this beautiful asset that runs throughout the Hill Country.
Clean-up crews will pick up trash and debris from the river bed and banks from the Comal River almost as far as the Canyon dam, while dozens of people from area scuba diving groups will clean the bottom of the deepest, darkest sections of the river.
River outfitters are providing rafts, tubes, and shuttle service for volunteers. Homeowners along the river as well as outfitters are providing access to the river side property.
WORD and Canyon Lake Fire/EMS are providing air supplies for the scuba divers. WORD will provide the trash bags and plenty of other businesses and individuals have provided monetary support for the program as well as sponsoring a commemorative t-shirt for each of the participants.
Cleanup crews and volunteers who want can camp for free at Cypress Bend on Friday night and Rio Raft Company is proving free camping spaces for some of the boy scouts.
After the work is done, volunteers will be invited to relax and unwind with a bonfire, cookout and “storytelling show” at Cypress Bend, and those who spend the night will be treated to a special breakfast on Sunday morning – a well-deserved reward for their team effort!
WORD Manager Mike Dussere said that his office had been getting a lot of calls from folks who usually float the upper section of the Guadalupe River and would like to clean up that section.
“We want to help them clean up their favorite area of the river by providing them with trash bags for this year,” said Dussere, “and we want to be able to include an organized upper river clean-up effort for next year.”
To participate in this year’s river clean-up effort, contact Mike Dussere or Amanda
McCutcheon at WORD 830-907-2300 or Nathan Pence at NB Parks & Recreation at 830-608-2166.