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Mark calendars for 35th annual Tuck River Cleanup, coming up soon

The thoughtless actions of those who litter are corrected by the caring efforts of WCU students, faculty and staff, and the community, taking part in the Tuck River Cleanup.

The 35th annual Tuck River Cleanup, believed to be the nation’s largest single-day effort to remove garbage from a waterway, will be held Saturday, April 13, between Cullowhee and Whittier.

Kay Tufts, assistant director with Western Carolina University’s Base Camp Cullowhee and event organizer, said anyone wanting to get involved in the work day to clean up the Tuckaseigee River should register at a sign-in station by the WCU Alumni Tower on the morning of the event, with the first 500 registrants receiving a free T-shirt upon completion of activities.

Rafting participants will be assigned to a raft and provided with a paddle, personal flotation device, trash bags and transportation to and from the river. Those participants should wear shoes that won’t come off in the water (tennis shoes are best, no flip-flops or shower sandals) and are encouraged to eat before registering. There are alternative walking routes for anyone preferring not to raft.

Civic and community groups can get involved with Tuck River Cleanup by contacting Conner White at to get more information. Last year, Boy Scout Troops 914 and 999, along with the Tuckaseigee Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Sylva Rotary Club, took part, Tufts said.

Event Schedule

  • 8-9 a.m. and 12-1 p.m. – Rafting registration
  • 10-11 a.m. ― Walking route registration
  • 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Transportation to the river
  • 2-5 p.m. – Transportation from the river

Trash Cleanup Rules

  • Do not pick up any glass, large metal objects, animal carcasses, sharp objects, needles or weapons.
  • Don’t place items weighing more than 50 lbs. in raft.
  • Base Camp Cullowhee programs and events are alcohol and drug free.
  • Inclement weather means stop picking up trash and paddle immediately to the designated take out.

A student trash collection competition will be held for most trash by weight and there will be a drawing for door prizes donated by local businesses.

For more information about the Tuck River Cleanup, contact Tufts at or 828-227-8804.

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