RENEW GOES VIRTUAL!
For sixteen years ReNew The New and Giles County PSA have hosted “Fall Into The New” at the end of every summer. Thirty-seven miles of the New River run through Giles and every year one third, of those miles, was designated for cleanup. ReNew borrowed canoes from local outfitters, the Boy Scouts, and a number of recreation programs and transported them to central locations; Giles County school buses carried volunteers to and from assigned sites. Depending upon the year, there were anywhere from two hundred to almost five hundred volunteers, who cleaned and cleared the river of debris and, afterwards, were treated, by Giles County, to lunch and a specially designed tee-shirt. Those sixteen years transformed the New River and ReNew’s stewardships will continue RENEWING the New River.
A COVID aware “Fall Into The New “ was planned for Saturday, August 29th and all the pieces were in place. Then two hurricanes began crossing the Gulf of Mexico heading to the Eastern United States. Marco lessened and Laura intensified. Before putting volunteers out on a stormy river and paying for 150 box lunches, a decision had to be made: forge on with ReNew’s well-planned event, or cancel. County Administration stayed closely in touch with the National Weather Service and AEP. At noon, on August 26th, for the first time in its sixteen year history, “Fall Into The New” was canceled.
But ReNew already had a complementary cleanup planned.
It was dubbed it the “virtual” cleanup because rather than having the large crowds expected during a normal “Fall Into The New”, dedicated volunteers can continue to clean the river on their own, and by documenting their efforts through photography and social media, virtually become the large crowd. In support, the County Administration has placed mailboxes containing orange trash bags at all of the official boat ramps in the county. Volunteers are encouraged to use those bags to pick up trash in and along the river and then deposit the full bags at any official boat ramp. The county PSA will remove those bags on a regular basis.
By taking a picture of yourself with the full trash bag, you become eligible for a FREE 2020 ReNew the New River Tee-shirt. By tagging your photo with #ReNewtheNew and posting it on social media, you will become part of the virtual crowd and help spread awareness of New River and good river stewardship. Due to the fact that “Fall Into the New” was cancelled, the virtual cleanup will continue until the end of the year, or until the tee-shirts run out. The tee-shirts are limited to one per volunteer.
The beautifully designed 2020 ReNew the New River tee-shirts are available at Pembroke Stop N Save adjacent to Route 460, just west of Pembroke across from the Cascades Industrial Park. Show the trash bag selfie to the staff at Pembroke Stop N Save to receive your richly earned tee-shirt. They have already given out a number of tee-shirts, with photos posted on their Face Book page. Please see www.renewthenew.org. for more details.