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Bigger cleanup next month expecting more than 300 volunteers

Reprinted from the Newark Advocate.


NEWARK - The Licking County River Round Up is getting bigger this year, with the addition of new sections to clean, including in Utica.

River Round Up Committee Chair Denise Natoli Brooks said they will have more than 300 participants, but that could end up being close to 350 with these new sections included.

During the River Round Up, which will take place Sept. 9, volunteers help to clean out anything that isn’t supposed to be in the Licking River.

“So this is our river, in our community, and it’s our drinking water, it’s our health, so if we don’t keep it clean, it eventually will impact us, so to show our appreciation of healthy water, we get out there and we clean the junk out of it,” Natoli Brooks said.

Brooks said the more than 10 clean-up sections include the South and North Fork Licking rivers, and smaller tributaries all the way down through Black Hand Gorge.

Licking County Health Department Public Information Officer Olivia Biggs said the health department is involved every year because having a healthy community is part of the department’s mission.

Biggs said she participated last year as a leader in the Granville clean up.

“Even though Granville, they take very good care of their village, but there was still plenty for us to pick up,” Biggs said. “We had trash bags full, we had tires to clean out.”

She said this year, they will be at a new location in Granville at Raccoon Creek.

The health department, which is a premiere sponsor for the event, has received a grant to provide more safety resources at the River Round Up, as well as money for advertising.

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