Keep Sevier Beautiful and Smoky Mountain Outdoors are teaming up on Friday, August 1 for a back-to-school cleanup of the Little Pigeon River and its bank along Old Knoxville Highway in Sevierville near the Wilderness at the Smokies resort. The cleanup will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude around 1:30 with a celebration luncheon at Wilderness at the Smokies and a cool-off for the volunteers in the Wilderness at the Smokies waterpark.
Keep Sevier Beautiful volunteers will join river guides from Smoky Mountain Outdoors in kayaks to cleanup litter in the river and on the often hard-to-reach riverbanks. Smoky Mountain Outdoor rafts will be used to transport the collected trash to a point on the riverbank where it can be unloaded. The cleanup will begin on the river off Park Road in Sevierville. Boaters and volunteers will paddle all the way down to Wilderness at the Smokies.
“Keep Sevier Beautiful has coordinated other cleanups on the Little Pigeon River, but we have never had an opportunity to do this section,” said Laura Howard, Executive Director of Keep Sevier Beautiful. “With the help of the staff and supplies from Smoky Mountain Outdoors, we are going to now be able to accomplish this – we are excited to team up with them for this much needed cleanup.”
Olwen Claiborne, Marketing Director for Smoky Mountain Outdoors, added, “In our business, part of the experience of whitewater rafting is to enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors here at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. We are excited to work with Keep Sevier Beautiful on this important back-to-school project and clean up after a busy summer where countless thousands of people have been visitors to our scenic area.”
The stretch of the Little Pigeon River involved in the August 1 cleanup just came off the Impaired Stream list with the TDEC (Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation), so these organizations want to do their part to keep this area of the Great Smoky Mountains looking great.
“We hope to make this an annual cleanup and expand it to include other river and riverbank areas in Sevier County that haven’t yet been reached,” Howard said.
People interested in volunteering with Keep Sevier Beautiful may contact Laura Howard at 865-774-6677 or by email at [email protected]