On Saturday May 7, an army of volunteers helped Canalway protect the Cuyahoga River by picking up tires, discarded water bottles and other plastic trash from more than 20 cleanup locations around the valley.
This year, volunteers collected 23 tons of garbage and 409 tires. Volunteers collected trash in four Cleveland neighborhoods: The Flats, Ohio City, Tremont and Slavic Village as well as in Garfield Heights and Cuyahoga Heights.
RiverSweep volunteers collected litter from the river in kayaks and other boats with help from Living Lands and Waters, PHASTAR and the Port of Cleveland’s Flotsam and Jetsam.
Started in 1989, the goal of RiverSweep is to protect the river and remove garbage from areas that could be future trails or parks in the Cuyahoga River corridor. Over the course of 33 years, 20 thousand volunteers have helped recycle 24,757 illegally discarded tires and pick up almost 1.5 million pounds trash.
The cleanup effort has helped communities reduce public dumping and encouraged the creation of parks and trails.
“Year after year, RiverSweep volunteers pour their hearts into their communities. As a result, we’ve been able to convert areas that were once abused dumping grounds to parks and trails. Canal Basin in the Flats, which is currently under construction to become a trailhead, and the Camp Cleveland pocket park in Tremont were both once illegal dump sites and are now parts of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath Trail,” said Mera Cardenas, Executive Director of Canalway. “Cleaning public areas helps people see the potential in them. We’re proud to have played a part in returning greenspaces to the community and are constantly looking to support communities across the National Heritage Area.”
RiverSweep 2022 was presented by Canalway with financial support from Cargill, the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, and the Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation as well as dozens of community partners providing both financial and in-kind donations. The full community list can be found at CanalwayPartners.com/Events/RiverSweep.