This morning I had a chance to join Ridge and Valley TU members as they took trash bags in hand and cleaned up a significant area surrounding the Pequest River near the Pequest Trout Hatchery. It was a great opportunity to get to know the members and to give something back to a river that provides so much to the community and NJ anglers.
For almost three hours, the group pictured above removed bottles, cans, clothing, tires and other items discarded or dumped near the river. At the end of it all we had enough garbage to more than fill the back of a pickup truck. The truck is parked behind the group in the photo.
I was glad to see a healthy turnout for this event, especially from a relatively new TU chapter. It speaks to the commitment of the members. An event like this is just as important as other chapter activities because it allows members to share their experiences while improving their fishery.
Anglers should feel a responsibility to keep the areas surrounding rivers and lakes clean, even if they’re just visiting. It only takes a couple of seconds to pick up a discarded bottle or can and deposit it in a designated garbage can or at home. I’m always surprised to find anglers that have never participated in a local cleanup nor have the desire to help out.
We finished the day by having lunch at a local favorite, Hot Dog Johnnys.
If you get the chance to organize or participate in a similar event, please do so. It really makes a difference. Enjoy!