Virtual ReNew the New 2020


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 for more details.

ReNew The New Local Committee Receives State Recognition

ReNew The New Local Committee Receives State Recognition

Giles County, VA- Earlier in November members of the local ReNew The New Committee from Giles County traveled to York County, Virginia for the annual Soil and Water Conservation Society awards ceremony. Nominated by the New River Valley Regional Commission the local committee was awarded the 2016 Merit Award “for their successful partnership to improve the health of the New River through organized cleanup activities” at the gathering.

The ReNew the New committee develops multiple events a year to clean sections of the New River. Photo by Alisa Moody.

The nomination letter included compliments to the local committee and Giles County for the regional success of the river cleanup held on August 27, 2016. The nominating application shared that “it successfully brought together groups representing industry, advocacy, government, students, youth, and the public” allowing for a positive impact on towards a “common cause,” the continued cleanup and awareness efforts of the New River.

For the past ten years ReNew The New has hosted two annual clean ups. A spring event focuses on roadways or river access points and is referred to as Ramps-N-Roads. The 2016 event held in Giles again brought record crowds and continues to be a popular community event along the New River Water Trail. In the early fall the popular Fall into the New event gets volunteers onto the water to clean up various sections of waterway. This year the entire New River Valley region was involved and for that effort, received this award.

On August 27 volunteers from Floyd, Pulaski, Montgomery, and Giles County, as well as the City of Radford joined together at Bisset Park to clean up a 10-mile section up and down river of Dudley’s Landing. The event brought together the communities and over 450 volunteers and successfully removed over two tons of debris from the river. This effort has “improved the environment through the clean-up of the region’s main water source; it united a group of volunteers representing a variety of backgrounds and interests and it educated the public about the importance of the New River to the region” as stated in the nomination application.

The award was presented to committee member Paul Moody at the recent event and has been presented to the local ReNew the New Committee with much appreciation. The 2017 event details are still being developed, but the Merit Award and regional attention have garnered more awareness for the New River and the efforts to maintain and improve the important waterway. For more information on the ReNew the New activities please visit their website at or


For more information about planning your visit to Giles County or about activities and events, please visit or contact us at