A message to James River visitors: ‘Don’t trash your treasure’

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC ) – “Don’t trash your treasure!” That’s the message for people heading to the James River river and surrounding parks this weekend.

“This is the treasure, you want to come here, see it and enjoy it. You don’t want it to look like a landfill,” said Greg Velzy, with the James River Outdoor Coalition.

More and more trash keeps showing up by the river, and in the water.

“Sort of ruins your experience to an extent,” said Velzy.

A lot of the trash by the river is plastic snack bags, bottles and food containers. Some people say they’ve seen a lot of diapers and dog poop as well.

“The cigarette buds–they’re going to have noxious substances in them that will affect the water quality, especially now in the summertime levels when the river gets low, things get a little more concentrated,” said Velzy.

James River Outdoor Coalition released a PSA this week asking visitors to clean up their mess.

Velzy says the small park staff has been overwhelmed. Luckily, volunteer groups like “RVA Clean Sweep” are stepping in.

“We love the James River, we love our city and when it comes to protecting both…litter is a very visual pollutant and it’s one that we can actually pick up,” said Amy Robins, the president of RVA Clean Sweep.

She says in just 1.5 hrs, a small group can come back with several bags of trash.

“We’re asking people if you see a piece of litter, pick it up. Don’t just walk by it,” said Robins.

RVA Clean Sweep will be picking up trash at Belle Isle on Sunday at 8:45 a.m. You can sign up to volunteer here.

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