Attleboro River Rats Make a Difference

The 5th Annual River Clean-Up grew this year to include sections of the city from Wall to Lamb Streets.

Despite the cool morning temperatures and frequent drizzling rain, volunteers still came out in support of Attleboro's annual clean up effort of the Ten Mile River and its surrounding area.

Approximately 40 volunteers including five young children, equipped with buckets and trash bags, participated in the cleanup, Attleboro Conservation Agent Lee Fuller said. “With better weather we would have had a few more people."

In years past the clean up has been mostly on the area near the start of Ten Mile River, but this year the goal is to continue along the river and reach to Lamb Street, a total distance of 1.5 miles.

The repeated efforts on the beginning section of the river have resulted in that area being cleaner than in years past and easier to clean since the previous efforts have removed brush and made the banks less overgrown.

“It’s become easier and gives us the opportunity to work on a larger area,” said Mayor Kevin Dumas, who was among the volunteers armed with trash bags, rakes and gloves.

“It’s a lot cleaner than I imagined,” said Rebecca Beard, a nearby resident who was volunteering for the first time this year.

Much of the trash included things such as bottles and wrappers, but there were also larger items, such as tires, barrels, old Christmas trees, an old bike and scraps of metal that show signs that people are using the river for dumping.

“In years past we’ve found everything in there, including a kitchen sink,” Fuller. said. 

Further down the river volunteers wearing waders and overalls were pulling trash out of the riverbed and finding tires, buckets, and even car mats resting on the bottom.

“It’s a lack of respect for public property and the surrounding areas,” Dumas said of the littering and dumping.

Fuller says the city tries to reduce the occurrences through fines, notices and by generally encouraging recycling and proper disposal. He also hopes that people will see the effort from the volunteers and think twice before just tossing something on the ground.

“Everyone has to do their little part," Jay DiLisio, a resident and current candidate for City Council. "You have 30 or 40 people here for three hours you have a 120 hours." 

One of the people doing their part was Wayne Reay, who was there as part of college assignment, but had previously done similar community service projects while stationed on active duty in the Air Force.

 "It’s fun and you meet a lot of great people,” Reay said. 

Councilman Bill Bergevine agreed with Reay’s sentiment saying “It’s not only the right thing to do, but its fun too.”


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