Cleaning Ish Creek

River clean-up gets early start as plans are made for Round Up, Air Fest

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As Blount County residents get ready to participate in the Little River Round Up on April 28, a few residents got in some "practice" on Ish Creek.

Little River Round Up hopes to bring out many volunteers to tackle the areas needing cleaning at the river, roadside litter, underwater and beautification projects. A prelude to the event was held on March 31 as part of the Great American CleanUp. A handful of volunteers tackled Ish Creek at the boat launch area.

The Little River Round Up on April 28 is a day of work and play. Check-in for the clean-up is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Thompson-Brown house, 1004 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway. The clean-up lasts until completed, or 2 p.m. Volunteers and the community are invited to come back for the evening celebration from 5 to 8 p.m., held this year at the front lawn of Maryville College, where the Round Up joins a celebration of Air Fest 2007, which was postponed from earlier due to bad
weather.

At the evening celebration there will be barbecue and bluegrass, with Pistol Creek Catch of the Day performing. Volunteers receive a free barbecue dinner and a T-shirt. Others can purchase dinner for $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. There will also be a silent auction.

The Little River Round Up is a program of Keep Blount Beautiful and the Little River Watershed Association, in partnership with Blount County 4-H, who will be hosting an environmental day camp for children 5 to 12 years old during the clean up, and Rhea’s Dive Shop. (To register for the day camp, call 681-4809.)

Major sponsors for the Round Up include Alcoa, Inc., Charter, Denso and Blount Today. Supporting sponsors are Blount County Storm Water, Chaco, Little River Trading Company, Blount Memorial Hospital, City of Alcoa Storm Water, Campbell Tents, First Tennessee Bank, Little River Outfitters, Pepsi, Quality Financial Concepts, Smoky Mountain River Rat Tubing, The Tomato Head and www.spectrarecycling.com.

Air Fest 2007 is in its third year as a Blount County festival and was planned for April 14. Heavy rains forced a cancellation and the organizing committee decided to partner with Little River Round Up for its evening celebration. Air Fest 2007 is a family event as well and will add its activities to the Little River Round Up, which agreed to move their celebration from Thompson Brown House to Maryville College to partner with Air Fest.

As part of the celebration, tethered hot air balloon rides will be available, weather permitting. A tethered ride in the balloon is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Also on the agenda are remote controlled airplane demonstrations and kite building.

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