Hundreds of volunteers scattered across four counties removed masses of trash and debris from the San Marcos River and its tributaries during the Great Texas River Clean Up on March 1.
In San Marcos, 231 people hauled away 14 tires, 500 pounds of metal and 101 bags of trash from in and around the upper stretch of the river as well as Sessom, Purgatory and Willow creeks. Meanwhile, 70 more people working from canoes cleaned up targeted areas along all 90 miles of the river, from Sewell Park to the Guadalupe River near Gonzales. Their bounty included 86 tires and 60 cubic yards of trash.
The cleanup was organized by Texas River Protection Association, the city of San Marcos, Keep San Marcos Beautiful, San Marcos River Foundation, Texas State University’s Students of Sustainability and the San Marcos Lions Club.
The volunteers were supported by local businesses including Green Guy Recycling, which carted off everything that could be recycled; Nopalitos and Jo on the Go, which provided breakfast and coffee; Fuschak’s Pit Bar-B-Q, which provided lunch; and Spencer’s Canoes of Martindale, which allowed volunteers to stay without charge at the Shady Grove Campground in Caldwell County.
I am glad that there are those willing to clean the river out, and I am sad that there are those who blatantly disrespect it in the first place by throwing trash in it. Tires? Really?
I do, however, wish they would do something about the overgrowth of vegetation in the river. There used to be a time where that junk would be cut back in conjunction with the river clean up, but now there are parts of the river – in Sewell Park, no less – where that stuff almost completely clogs it up. I realize it’s an endangered species of wild rice or whatever and that little blind salamanders like it, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t at least be cut back.