Charlestown is blessed with a wide network of volunteers and community servants. This is what makes the yearly Bring in the Green state park clean-up event so successful. Every year, early season flooding of the Ohio River deposits extra trash and debris along the walking trail nearest the river. I first noticed the problem in 2018. During a morning run on trail #6 in late February I came down the final hill onto the blissfully flat section of the trail and encountered so much debris that I had to divert my route off the trail. I was immediately motivated into action. In typical Charlestown fashion, I saw a problem in need of a solution and a quick call-out to my friends and neighbors brought about the first Bring in the Green event. That first year volunteers filled an entire dump truck full of trash. In subsequent years we've filled that same truck several times over and one year, after a particularly bad flood season, we tapped out the capacity of every single dumpster in the entire park!
Participation in the event is simple. Just wear clothes and boots that you don't mind getting dirty and show up at the boat dock section of the park near trail #6. Generous donors provide trash bags every year along with water, snacks, and sometimes swag bags as a thank you to our volunteers. I hope this year will be the biggest year yet - current top number of volunteers is about 65. The more people we have the greater impact we can make in a short amount of time. As an added bonus, if serving our community by helping to clear the trail for springtime visitors isn't motivation enough, remember that research shows that folks who volunteer in their communities experience a boost in their mental health - and coming off of a two-year pandemic, we can ALL use a little more happiness.
This year we've got another great group of sponsors ready to support our volunteers. Kort Physical Therapy of Charlestown is providing breakfast, Charlestown Township Trustee Tom Kendrick is keeping us hydrated with donated water, The Charlestown Pizza Company is restocking our trash bag collection, and Amanda Janssen with Abby's Eye photography is also providing bags, gloves, and snacks. All we need is YOU!