Volunteers Brave Rain for Annual Cleanup

May 13, 2014

On the morning of Saturday, April 26, The Esplanade Association (TEA) helped to host the 14th annual Charles River Cleanup.

Since 2000, TEA has partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Conversation and Recreation, the Charles River Watershed Association (the lead organizer) and numerous other Charles River stakeholders to coordinate this event, which attracts volunteers from more than 120 different neighborhoods, school, religious and corporate groups. The goal of the cleanup is to remove trash and debris from the park and the Charles River shoreline.

Though 800 people registered in advance to help clean up the Esplanade, Saturday’s rain and unseasonably cold temperatures led to a lower than usual volunteer turnout. Nevertheless, more than 300 dedicated volunteers turned out to brave the weather in order to rake, collect trash and cut invasive plants along the shoreline. The result of their efforts is a noticeably cleaner and more beautiful park.

Following the cleanup, volunteers celebrated their hard work with a picnic near the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell. A speaking program featured State Sen. William Brownsberger (who bicycled between cleanup sites), Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner David Cash, Charles River Watershed Association Executive Director Bob Zimmerman, Charles River Conservancy Executive Director Renata von Tscharner and TEA Executive Director Kate Fichter. A picnic lunch was donated in part by Whole Foods Market and Hyatt Regency. JetBlue Airlines provided entertainment, prizes and volunteer gift-bags.

The annual Charles River Cleanup is organized in celebration of Earth Day and is a part of American Rivers’ National River Cleanup, which has removed more than 4 million pounds of trash from America’s waterways. Volunteers received an official Charles River Cleanup T-shirt designed by Massachusetts College of Art and Design student Frank Koran.

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