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Volunteers rally for trash cleanup around Wilmington’s Riverfront Park

Published: Aug. 1, 2021 at 7:37 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Wilmington’s Riverfront Park has seen success, but locals are finding trash left behind by concertgoers, like cans, cigarette butts, and plastic bottles.

“There are a lot more people coming into the city and there is just a lot of trash,” said Wilmington resident Dina Greenberg.

Cape Fear River Watch and Island Wildlife decided to team up and gather volunteers for a trash cleanup around the popular venue.

Organizers emphasized the importance of keeping the Cape Fear clean.

“Anything you throw down on the ground is going to end up in our waterways, which is going to make the river look terrible and also harm our local ecosystem, which a lot of people rely on,” said Robert Clark, Water Quality Programs Manager of Cape Fear River Watch.

The cleanup impacted our region’s future one bag of trash at a time.

“For every 25 pounds of litter that’s collected today, we will bank and plant a native tree in the community,” said Virginia Holman, President of Island Wildlife Cape Fear Region.

Volunteers rolled up their sleeves to keep debris out of the waterways.

“If we can keep this out of the drinking water and keep the river healthy, it’s good for everybody,” said Wilmington resident Bob Greenberg.

While those at the cleanup wanted to protect the city’s environment, they also understood the importance of Riverfront Park for Wilmington’s future.

“It’s a boom to the city,” said Greenberg. “It’s something everyone can enjoy and we just want to make sure that it stays that way.”

Although organizers communicated that the cleanup was not a long-term resolution, they felt it needed to be done. Volunteers hope there is a change in the future.

“We are hoping that a combined effort between citizens, between city council, and Live Nation, that there will be a concerted effort to deal with the trash problem because it will be ongoing,” said Greenberg.

According to Clark, more than 50 volunteers participated in the cleanup. He mentioned that he saw improvements with the volume of trash after the most recent concert compared to the previous one.

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