The Second Annual Blanco River clean-up held on April 5 was a great success. Forty two adults, high school students and scouts pulled more than two pickup beds full and one trailer’s worth of junk out of the River and off the River bank. Among the more interesting items found were a derelict washing machine and an old T.V. Asbestos shingles were identified and the County removed them the following week.
The hard work of these volunteers is keeping our drinking water safe. Did you know that 50% of the drinking water in the United States comes from rivers? The Blanco River rated an exceptional Aquatic Life Use designation in 2006. The fish are safe! But, 40% of America’s rivers, lakes and estuaries are unsuitable for such basic uses as fishing and swimming.
The Wild Life Rescue operation in Kendalia requested special attention be paid to monofilament line as they were receiving quite a few animals injured by fishing line carelessly left behind by fisherfolk. Gerry and Gerald Vradenburg spent 4 hours in their kayaks on the River East of the 4th St Bridge collecting line and lunch debris. The Scout Troop and volunteers from Wildlife Rescue worked hard to remove line inside the park. There is now a monofilament recycling location at Park Headquarters so line can be disposed of responsibly.
Thanks to the efforts of Real Foods, Tom’s of Maine (an ecologically oriented producer of natural care products) provided life jackets and nets to assist the clean-up as well as gloves and nippers to get the line out of the brush. Their representative in Austin, Hayden Graham, gave up her Saturday to help our high school group clean the River from Kendalia Rd to Wayne Smith Dam. The Park provided canoes and Ranger Mary Alice Partain lent a willing hand . Mary Alice also worked with a group of cub scouts from San Antonio who spent the afternoon cleaning the nature trail in the Park.
Several Families along the Little Blanco took it upon themselves to pull truck loads of tires and other trash out of their stretch of that river. Their initiative is applauded.
The River Clean-up is extending beyond the Blanco community! Thank-you to all the hard working volunteers.