Watching The River Flow

(A blog about the New River and the New River Protectors organization in Grayson County, Virginia)

The New River is a wonderful natural resource for Grayson County residents and visitors alike, offering many fun opportunities like kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and tubing.

It is both a place for both relaxation and for economic opportunities derived from tourism and other pursuits.

The New River twists and turns for 46 miles inside of Grayson County, Virginia.

The New River is a beauty of nature for man’s enjoyment, but the action of man sometimes is the cause of the New River becoming somewhat less beautiful.

That is why the Grayson County New River Protectors was formed, to promote and protect the natural beauty of the New River.

 The New River Protectors is a coalition of private organizations combining with the government of Grayson County to promote and protect the natural beauty of the New River.

It was formed to help preserve and protect the 46 miles of the New River in Grayson County, Virginia and to organize a periodic cleanup of the river. 

The ideal of the New River Protectors is to try to live up to the official motto of Grayson County: “Protectors of Nature”.

The New River Protectors have sponsored and organized several groups and individual volunteers on designated Saturdays in August to remove tires, trash, and other debris from the New River.

The Grayson County Board of Supervisors has issued an official Proclamation designating August as “Clean River Month”.

This action was encouraged and welcomed by the New River Wildlife & Conservation Club, the New River Conservancy, Grayson Landcare and other organizations.

This combined effort led to the formation of a group of stake holders made up of civic groups, individuals and state and local agencies.

This group became the New River Protectors.

The County agreed to promote and publicize the cleanups, provide, and coordinate trash pickup, provide mesh bags for the cleanups and other assistance.

The Proclamation:

 The goal is to make Clean River Month an ongoing effort.  

Publicity and promotion of the August New River clean up events was done by means of roadside signs, printed card handouts, newspaper and radio advertisements, the creation of a New River Protectors Facebook page, promotion of the projects on the Grayson County Tourism Facebook page and the handing out of mesh bags at various locations around Grayson County.

Two speakers were brought in to address the issues facing the New River and what citizens can do to help. Both presentations were free and open to the public.

Elizabeth Underwood, Executive Director of the New River Conservancy, spoke at the Baldwin Auditorium on Monday, August 16th. The New River Conservancy is dedicated to protecting the waters, woodlands, and wildlife of the New River Watershed.

Martha Chapman of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality spoke about water quality issues specific to the New River and Grayson/Carroll Counties on August 17, 2021, at the G.A.T.E. Center in Independence, Virginia.

Ms. Chapman is a Water Quality Monitoring & Assessment Scientist at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s Southwest Regional Office.

In addition to the speakers, several neighborhood and civic groups are conducted river cleanups in August.

Preserve Grayson and Grayson Landcare had cleanups on Saturday August 7th .

Volunteers dug out and removed 26 tires and other debris from a section of the New River near Fries.

As you can see, this event was a great success.         

On August 14th, a neighborhood cleanup took place on the Little River.

That cleanup removed a large amount of debris from the Little River and was a job well done by those volunteers.

On August 21, 2021, the New River Conservancy conducted a cleanup in Grayson County.

The New River Wildlife & Conservation Club held their annual event on August 28, 2021. The in-river activities had support and guidance from the Department of Wildlife Resources and the county’s Dept. of Emergency Services.

We had a very successful River Cleanup Month in August, 2021. We are looking forward to even bigger and better things this coming August.

As always, these types of events rely upon the hard work and dedication of volunteers to help clean up and protect the New River in Grayson County.

Please consider volunteering to help with our efforts this year.