Chunky, Miss. Fifteen volunteers with the East Mississippi Foothills Land Trust set out in canoes this morning to clean-up a 7 mile stretch of the Chunky River. The group was formed 10 years ago, and has been cleaning up the Chunky each June for the past seven. East Mississippi Foothills Land Trust Treasurer Andrew Covington says in the past they've collected over 500 pounds of trash.
"We'll pick up everything from tires to refrigerators, to small things like regular pickup garbage that we can pick up by hand."
The Chunky River is a very popular place for families to stay cool during the hot summer days, and Covington says this cleanup is one way they can help make sure that the river stays safe and looking good while also using it as a teachable moment.
"There's a lot of recreational use, and several stretches of the Chunky River were designated by the State Legislature as scenic river for the State of Mississippi, but also there's a component when we get young people out here cleaning up, they get the idea that there's garbage being thrown in there, just the concept of keeping something clean."
The East Mississippi Foothills Land Trust is a non-profit group, and this cleanup is just one of several things they do year-round to try and help preserve special areas.
"We're enthusiastic to try and protect certain places, the green spaces and open areas of East Mississippi, and the Chunky River, just because of its recreational use is a great place to target to keep clean."