MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Sometimes Mother Nature needs a good spring cleaning too. That’s why volunteers like Virginia Chirsky were out raking leaves and picking up trash by the Quinnipiac River and by Hanover Pond.
“We do this because we have a passion for wanting the Quinnipiac River to be a clean and healthy resource,” she said.
The Quinnipiac River Watershed Association holds the spring cleanup every year. Volunteers were out at nine different sites in and around Meriden. Association President David James says cleaning up doesn’t just make the area look good. It makes the volunteers feel good.
“These are citizens that are concerned with the environment,” he said. “It’s something where they can actually get their hands into things and feel like they’re actually doing something.”
Their work doesn’t just affect this area. If trash isn’t picked up it could float down the river and head toward Long Island Sound.
“People use waterways as a disposal unit,” said James. “There’s not a lot of consciousness that water actually is a resource.”
Over the years volunteers have found all kinds of things in the water – everything from tires to furniture to sports equipment. They’ve even pulled cars out.
“It makes me angry because I walk here with my dogs a lot,” said Pamela Wheeler, a Meriden resident who was picking up trash. “There is a lot of wildlife and you find trash.”
Many volunteers thought of the wildlife, like the ducks that swim in the river, as they pulled trash out of the water and filled their bags with litter. They’re hoping with more awareness there will be less trash for them to put in those bags.
“It’s always surprising to us that folks continue to clog up the waters and the only way it gets clear is through our volunteer efforts,” said Chirsky.