Costa, SweetWater and TU cleanups start this weekend

A slate of five river cleanups co-hosted by Trout Unlimited, Costa del Mar and SweetWater Brewing Company start this weekend.

The first of the #KickPlastic cleanup events will take place in Roanoke, Virginia, on the Roanoke River. (See this post for more information and please fill out the simple volunteer form so we can get a decent idea of how many volunteers to expect.)

Volunteers will tackled a heavily used stretch of river adjacent to Wasena and Smith Parks in the heart of Roanoke.

Although the Roanoke River has wild trout in its headwaters, this particular section of river is not cool enough to support trout year-round. It is stocked with trout from October through May by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

The popular and heavily used Roanoke River Greenway runs next to the river through Wasena and Smith parks, which are adjacent to each other and separated by a low-water bridge.

The greenway will also be the site for the run course in the Carilion Clinic Ironman 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge triathlon, which was just announced. That event is expected to draw more than 2,000 athletes to Roanoke in June 2020.

The Roanoke event starts at 1 p.m. Volunteers should meet at the upper end of Wasena Park, near the foot bridge to Vic Thomas Park.

Cleanup supplies will be provided but volunteers should bring shoes suitable for wading. There will be a jug of ice water for filling bottles, and lots of Bobos snack bars for energy.

The Roanoke Valley chapter of Trout Unlimited will host a post-cleanup party at Mellow Mushroom. The local TU chapter will buy the first round of SweetWater Kick Plastic Pilsner for volunteers 21 and older. The popular pizza restaurant is hosting a SweetWater tap takeover that day with specials on Kick Plastic Pilsner, Mango Kush and Blue.

By Mark Taylor. A native of rural southern Oregon, Mark Taylor has lived in Virginia since serving a stint as a ship-based naval officer in Norfolk. He joined the TU staff in 2014 after a 20-year run as a newspaper journalist, the final 16 as the outdoors editor of the Roanoke Times. A graduate of Northwestern University, he lives in Roanoke with his wife and, when they're home from college, his twin daughters.