Over 200 RU students, faculty and staff members took to the river on Saturday but not to frolic and float. Instead they harvested more than 1500 pounds of solid waste and trash, recycled 40 percent of it and battled invasive species.
The cleanup, called "Down by the River," was the culmination of Be Successful through Engagement and Education Now (Be S.E.E.N.) during RU's Service and Sustainability Week. Participants included several RU varsity teams, sports clubs and Greek organizations.
"It was a great way to connect RU students to the New River and understand the issues of trash, litter and the river and wetlands ecosystems," said Julio Stephens, RU recycling coordinator. "Their people power and enthusiasm is greatly appreciated."
The volunteers collected solid waste and debris along a half-mile stretch of the New River by the Dedmon Center complex and worked to cull non-indigenous trees and weeds from the wetlands area opposite the Armstrong Complex. They also participated in a scavenger hunt for a pair of prize packages, valued at $50, courtesy of Coca-Cola.