Group cleans up riverbank and their conscience

Source: The Wenatchee World


LEAVENWORTH — Beer bottles, sunglasses, the remains of a box spring mattress and a spray can.

All these things and more were found Saturday during an Earth Day River Cleanup event along the banks of the Wenatchee River in Leavenworth. The Wenatchee River Institute put on the event, said Rachel Bishop, Wenatchee River Institute community education lead. 

Previously there has been a whole Earth Day fair here in Leavenworth, but this year it’s not happening,” Bishop said. “So we decided to have some event going on since that isn’t happening in town.”

About eight people showed up and combed the bank of the river. The group compiled about 10 bags of garbage after two hours of looking, Bishop said.

It was a bright sunny day for the cleanup and people could be seen enjoying the park, jogging, walking and even sunbathing.

Tourism is one of the reasons why there is garbage alongside the river, Bishop said. People enjoy visiting the town of Leavenworth and engaging in activities along the Wenatchee River.

It flows through our town so it is susceptible to pollution from people and we have a lot of tourists that like to hangout on the river too,” she said. “Folks that live here I think we should take responsibility for cleaning up the river that flows through our home.”

Marlene Farrell, 43 of Leavenworth, came down with her daughter to participate in the cleanup. She said her family often performs cleanups alongside Icicle Creek to help keep it clear of trash. 

Earth Day is important to her, she said. It shows people what they can do to help the environment and their local communities.

It is not as celebrated as it could be,” Farrell said. “But the most important thing is to celebrate it by these small acts and maybe think about, ‘How could I drive a little or less?’ or ‘How could I consume less plastics?’”