High waters impact the 27th annual Tuckaseigee River Cleanup

The Tuckaseigee River Cleanup sponsored by Western’s Base Camp Cullowhee is the largest single day river cleanup in the nation with an average of approximately 600 volunteers.

“Hundreds of concerned volunteers come out every year to show their support,” said Jennifer Bennett, assistant director of outdoor programs at Base Camp Cullowhee.

High rainfall from Friday April 15 kept volunteers from entering the water during the 27th annual Tuckaseigee River Cleanup on Saturday.

The high water levels in the river was deemed unsafe for volunteers to enter. Therefore volunteers were limited to walking beside the river and along the roads picking up trash and debris.

“It still got the job done, but it was no where near as much fun as being in the water rafting down the river,” said Caleb Chandler, junior at WCU.

Despite not being able to go into the river, volunteers worked tirelessly cleaning stretches of the Tuckaseigee River from Cullowhee to the town of Dillsboro.

“It’s a wonderful idea, because it gets western students involved in helping out their community. It makes our river look beautiful and more enjoyable for tourists who come out to swim or locals to come have a good time,” said Ariel Rymer, junior at WCU.