Stan Hurst, member of the Bardstown Boaters, stands in a boat full of tires dragged from the Beech Fork River. Tires are one of the most common items found in the river and over 50 were collected during this year’s Paddle Pickup.
From the Kentucky Standard
By Cathy Barnes
On Saturday, 45 people joined paddles with the Bardstown Boaters to help clean up the five-mile portion of the Beech Fork River that runs through Nelson County.
For five years, the Bardstown Boaters have organized Paddle Pickup in an effort to help meet water conservation goals in Nelson County. This year, the group contributed to habitat conservation on the river by collecting enough trash to fill an industrial-sized garbage dumpster.
Although the day started off cloudy with fears of high water levels and continuing rain, the afternoon remained dry, making it an ideal day for the event.
Justin Janes, an organizer for the event, said the turnout was good considering the weather conditions.
Most people participating were from the Bardstown area but there were others who came in from Louisville as well. Boy Scout Troop 147 and Troop 142 also participated.
The group of about 15 to 20 canoes set off from the bridge at U.S. 31E and was out on the water for four hours dragging in debris that collected over the past year and in the last several decades. It took another few hours to get the debris loaded off the boats and into the dumpster.
Spalding Hurst, the president of the Bardstown Boaters, said items found included about 50 tires, a children’s Big Wheel and the inside tub of a washing machine. A prize was given to Jim Allen, assistant scoutmaster with Michael Thomas of Troop 147, who pulled out the washer because of its size and weight.
Although the effort of the volunteers was great, Hurst said they’ve only scratched the surface of the clean-up effort that needs to be done on the Beech Fork River.
“People should try to be mindful of their waste and what happens to it when they’re done with it,” said Hurst.
The Bardstown Boaters plan to host the event again sometime next May
If you would like any more information about this event or are interested in joining this group, visit www.bardstownboaters.com.