On Saturday, June 9th, the Bardstown Boaters held their third annual river clean up of the Beech Fork, commonly referred to as the Paddle Pick Up. By all accounts the Paddle Pick Up was once again a huge success! This year’s event focused on the section of the Beech Fork, which runs from the Nelson County Fair Grounds to the 31E Bridge. Over 50 volunteers participated this year and either canoed, kayaked or walked the banks of the Beech Fork collecting trash of all shapes and sizes. By the end of the day, we removed over three tons of garbage from the river including over eighty automobile tires, a computer monitor, a Lexington Herald-Leader Newspaper Dispenser, and more beer cans than we could count.
This event would not be possible without the assistance of Mike Hammons, owner and operator of Horizon Hoppers Outfitters (www.horizonhopper.com). Horizon Hoppers provided the canoes, which enabled us to put over thirty volunteers on the river. The Bardstown Boaters also want to thank the Nelson County Government for providing the industrial dumpster and garbage bags. In addition, we want to thank the Bluegrass Tavern and Smith Brothers Distributors for this year’s Paddle Pick Up banner. Moreover, we want to thank the Bardstown Rotary Club for their continued financial support, which paid for the event t-shirts that were handed out to the volunteers. This year a special thanks goes out to the Boy Scout Troops 142 and 147. The involvement of the local Boy Scout Troops added new energy to this year’s event and we hope to have both troops back again next year.
We welcome anyone interested in river conservation or the Bardstown Boaters to visit our website at www.bardstownboaters.com. Even though the past three Paddle Pick Ups have been hugely successful, there is still a mountain of garbage to be removed from the Beech Fork. The first step to resolving this tragic problem is to stop contributing to it. The state of the Beech Fork is a community wide problem, and it will take a community wide effort to correct. Therefore, the Bardstown Boaters challenge the Bardstown / Nelson County community to stop polluting our rivers and woodlands. Collectively as a community we can reverse the environmental damage done and restore the health of the Beech Fork.