Lee Co. waterways 31,000lbs lighter

Rivers Alive cleaned up the Flint river, Kinchafoone creek and Muckalee creek. / Sean Streicher

The Lee County Board of Commissioners started Rivers Alive in 2006 with around 25 volunteers, in 2012 that number has grown to over 150. The community service project is a perfect mix of fun and work as it combines a day paddling the waterways with a river clean up.

Volunteers are broken up into small group which are then assigned to clean up the ether the Flint River, Kinchafoone Creek or Muckalee Creek.

River Alive veterans, like Kayla Ann Weakly, are starting to see a difference from year to year, "we filled up our canoe today, and it's just really amazing, it wasn't as dirty as it was last year."

In the seven years the event has been held over 2,000 man hours have been worked, collecting over 31,000 pounds of trash.

Today's biggest find was a fiberglass boat. Other items hauled from the depths today include tires, gas cans, air conditioning ducts, and even a rusty bike.

While some of these things end up here accidentally, other are intentionally dumped. Rick Maggridgee a member of the Lee County Board of Commissioners has this message for the dumpers, "if you enjoy our rivers and creeks don't leave anything but your foot prints, you know, try to take out more trash then you brought in."

With such a good turn out at this year's event, organizers say they are almost positive it will return for its eight year next July.