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'It's a natural beauty': River Sweep helps keep Kentucky River clean

Volunteers come together to help pick up bags of trash along the Kentucky River.
River Sweep
Posted at 3:41 PM, Jun 15, 2024

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — About 100 volunteers gathered at the Kentucky River for Saturday morning's annual River Sweep. They would either get in a kayak or work with the fire department to pick up all sorts of trash, from bikes to syringes.

This was an opportunity for volunteers to see the beauty of the river while helping the wildlife and improving their health.

"It is where our drinking water comes from, it supports our wildlife, it's a natural beauty that we really should appreciate," said Jennifer Myatt, an environmental specialist with the city of Lexington. "Getting to be on it and clean up all the trash and litter is a great start for the summer and helps people experience the river up close."

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Jessa Tuner, a volunteer, says competitiveness helped her become a volunteer at River Sweep for the first time. "Every time we go out just for practice runs, we tend to clean up garbage as much as we can," said Turner.

Turner gets her inspiration by making it a friendly competition with one of her friends who helps at Clean Kentucky. "That is an incentive to help her clean Kentucky up with the waterways and trash. It makes it a little competitive. 'I got ten bags today. How many did you get?"

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The Kentucky River impacts wildlife, drinking water, and beauty. Everyone should be able to enjoy the river without worrying about litter. "People want to be able to enjoy the river," said Jess, "not worry about swimming up in a bunch of trash."