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Volunteers Celebrate EarthDay by Cleaning up the Blackstone River

May 29, 2015 10:15AM ● By Pamela Johnson
April 27, 2015. As you drive around the Blackstone Valley, you'll notice cleaner waterways from Millbury to Blackstone.  This is a due to the hard efforts of nearly 200 volunteers who pitched in on Sunday, April 19th, as part of the Blackstone River Watershed Associations’s (BRWA)  annual EarthDay Cleanup.  Teams worked at 36 sites in ten towns to remove an immense amount of trash items from shorelines, streams, and ponds.
Individuals, families, scout groups, and community groups throughout the Blackstone River watershed participated in the cleanup event.  Sites included Millbury (the Blackstone River and Broad Meadow Brook), Grafton (the Quinsigamond River, the Blackstone River, Hovey Pond, Axtell Brook, and Silver Lake), Upton (the West River), Sutton (Lakey Dam), Northbridge (Meadow Pond, the Mumford River, and the Blackstone River), Uxbridge (the Blackstone Canal and River in and around River Bend Park, the West River, and the Mumford River), Mendon (Rock Meadow Brook), Douglas (the Mumford River), Hopedale (Hopedale Pond), and Blackstone (Fox Brook and the Blackstone River).

The dedicated volunteers removed 210 garbage bags worth of trash! They also removed tires, household items, electronics, furniture, car parts, hazardous waste, and construction debris.  This year's trash haul included 2 toilets, 2 sinks, a baseboard hearing element, and bathroom tiles.
Removing this trash keeps waterways open for fish and wildlife, and for paddlers and anglers. The EarthDay Cleanup also improves the water quality of the Blackstone River by removing potential sources of contamination.

The BRWA urges people to dispose of their general and hazardous garbage properly.  Contact your town's health department for information on how to recycle or dispose of paint, electronics, lawn or pool chemicals, auto parts, and remodeling materials. 

Following the highly productive cleanup, volunteers gathered at River Bend Farm’s Visitor Center in Uxbridge for pizza and refreshments provided by the BRWA with generous support from Hannafords of Uxbridge, Harry’s Famous Pizza of Uxbridge, Next Step Living, and Homefield Credit Union.

As part of the annual EarthDay Cleanup, the BRWA partnered with Alternatives Unlimited, Inc. to sponsor a Clean and Green Fair at River Bend Farm. Volunteers viewed displays and demonstrations about watershed protection and terracycling. Seedling plantings and children’s activities were also provided.  Next Step Living provided information on solar energy and more.
The Blackstone River Watershed Association’s (BRWA) mission is to engage, educate, and advocate to improve water quality in the Blackstone River watershed. For more information on the organization and future cleanups, call the BRWA office at 508-278-5200 or visit




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