Written by: TJ Roy & Jon Bash
We have all heard the expression “load the boat,” but usually we are referring to whatever fish species we are after that day. Just over a week ago, associates at Orvis Raleigh set out to “load the boat”. . .with trash.
Store Manager Craig Foster and Fishing Manager Jake Thurmond gathered up over 120 people, a group comprising Orvis associates and members of the local community (many of whom were former FF101 students), for a collaborative effort to clean the Neuse River. With the help of local paddle companies Frog Hollow and Paddle Creek, the group set out in canoes and kayaks to rid the river of trash and debris.
The plan was simple: have all participants park at the take-out, where the wrap-up party was staged. The paddle companies shuttled participants to the put-in, where they boarded canoes or walked the banks armed with trash bags and scoured the river for trash and debris. By noon, everyone had made it safely to the take-out, where the trash was collected and the party began.
Talk about “filling the boat”, the participants cleared the river of an impressive amount of trash:
- 89 full bags of garbage
- 2 bikes, 2 chairs, 1 table
- Tires, tires, and more tires
- 1 BBQ Grill
- 1 sunken dock and a few hundred pounds of lumber
- And 1 tractor drive shaft
Craig and Jake organized the wonderful wrap-up party to follow up the day on the water. Activities included a casting course, yard games, and a day’s-end raffle. Sweetwater Brewing Company donated beer and prizes, and raffle-ticket sales raised over $1,500 for the Upper Neuse Riverkeepers.
A special thanks to local community and Orvis Fly Fishing 101 students for joining us and their continued passion for enjoying and protecting our great outdoor resources.