The 19th annual RiverSweep clean up

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Join the Black River Action Team Saturday morning, Sept. 8 as the all-volunteer organization rolls up their sleeves to clean trash from the banks and bed of the Black River.

BRAT volunteers retrieving a shopping cart from the Black River. Photo provided.

Head over to the HQ table after 8 a.m. by the footbridge in the Springfield Shopping Plaza to sign in, pick up work gloves (or bring your own), and trash bags. Select a place to work, and head out to collect some junk.

Return to HQ by 11 a.m. to have your trash photographed and tallied, then wash your hands and enjoy a free hot dog lunch courtesy of Deep River Snacks and Young’s Furniture & Appliance. Every volunteer will receive a complimentary BRAT tee shirt as a “thank you;” the back of the shirt, printed by Clever Cow Designs, features a long list of 2018 supporters of the many programs and activities conducted by the Black River Action Team.

Help will also be needed at HQ to sort incoming trash and load it on trucks. Recyclables such as tires and metal will go to the Springfield Transfer Station.

Anyone wishing to paddle their own kayak or canoe and help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers clean trash from the North Springfield Lake for RiverSweep, please preregister by Thursday, Sept. 6 via email to or by leaving a phone message at 802-738-0456 for BRAT Director Kelly Stettner.

Paddlers will need their own watercraft and flotation devices for each person in the boat. Folks assisting in the lake clean up will also be trained to look for invasive water chestnut plants, which have been monitored and managed by USACE staff and aquatic plant specialist Laurie Callahan for years.

Scores of volunteers work the RiverSweep each year, and BRAT has collectively hauled out hundreds of shopping carts, scores of tires, and many tons of trash since the first RiverSweep in 2000.

Visit to check out photos from previous years.

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