Hundreds unite to beautify the Arkansas River

Arkansas volunteers joined forces during this year’s Great Arkansas River Cleanup to spruce up shorelines and trails along the Arkansas River, providing the state with more than $16,000 in time and effort value.

Keep Arkansas Beautiful and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality partnered with city leaders in Clarksville, Fort Smith, Little Rock, North Little Rock, Ozark and Van Buren to pick up litter from the river and its banks. Teams also cleared brush from shorelines.

“We hope the Great Arkansas River Cleanup will lead to year-round efforts that will transform Arkansas and make its residents feel proud of our state,” said Randy Naylor of Keep North Little Rock Beautiful, which started the Great Arkansas River Cleanup last year.

Despite rainy weather, more than 250 volunteers removed more that 6,000 pounds of litter from stretches of the river in the six participating communities. Along with the expected flotsam from river users, tackle, Styrofoam, cans and bottles, volunteers were shocked to find an abandoned hot tub, tires and other large items that had to be hauled away.

“This event was a great opportunity for everyone who treasures our great river to clean and improve it, augmenting its importance to their local communities,” said Robert Phelps, director of Keep Arkansas Beautiful. “By clearing trash and debris, we can make sure that the Arkansas River continues to be one of the state’s greatest natural resources.”

The Great Arkansas River Cleanup is held in conjunction with the annual Keep Arkansas Beautiful Great Arkansas Cleanup (GAC).

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