Help clean up the New River Saturday, Aug. 28


Radford University and the City of Radford are partnering on an opportunity for community volunteers to help remove trash from a three-mile portion of the New River that runs through the city.

ReNew the New River is scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 28, and interested volunteers should visit to reserve their spots on either the land or water cleanup crews. 

Cleanup projects will begin at Bissett Park’s Shelter 3 and concentrate efforts along a 3-mile section of the New River that runs from the top of Bissett Park to Radford University’s Dedmon Center. 

“ReNew the New Radford is a collaborative initiative that will bring together the university and city as the greater Radford community,” said Radford University Sustainability Manager Josh Nease. “The city is providing the space and resources for a fun and impactful event, and it’s our opportunity to serve the community and improve our river — for us, for our neighbors and for everyone downstream.”

Cleanup crews will work on the water and on land along the river. For the on-water crews, 65 boats will be provided; first-come, first served. Participants may bring their own boats or personal flotation devices.

Free T-shirts and lunch will be provided to volunteers at the culmination of the event.

“We are so thankful for all who recognize the beauty and importance of the New River and appreciate all the efforts to Renew the New,” said City of Radford Mayor David Horton, who also serves as assistant to the dean of the Artis College Science and Technology. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the full-time Radford citizens and the university community to work side by side to help preserve and protect one of our greatest natural resources.”

The New River is one of the world's oldest rivers and also one of the most pristine, thanks partly to the efforts by the Radford University family, City of Radford volunteers and surrounding communities to keep it clean. 

“The New River is one of the greatest assets of the City of Radford. In addition to drinking water that has been rated the highest quality in the Commonwealth, the recreational components of the river are wonderful for all,” Horton said. 

“However, we all have a role to play in keeping our waterway healthy. Cleanups like Renew the New help mitigate damage to our river from floods and other natural disasters as well as from careless activities by people. Trash and debris can be dangerous for those on the river, and other toxins such as oil and pesticides can make the river water less safe to consume."

With Radford University located in the New River City, “we are part of this community and part of this environment,” Nease notes. “Every action we take has consequences that impact people and the environment here and around the world.” 

Aug 25, 2021
Chad Osborne