Every year after Thanksgiving, a dedicated group of people heads to the Saline River in Benton, Arkansas, to clean up what others have left behind. Saline River Canoe (SRC) and ACC BOATR invites locals once again to join them for the 12th Annual Black Friday Cleanup.
Come out to help, starting at 10 a.m. on November 24th. The group will go until 2 p.m. working from boats and on the shore to pull out junk, trash, and sometimes large items.
After that, Michael Sacomani of SRC says they will gather for “eating and river lies.” Lots of stories come from doing this type of work, since you never know what you’ll find.
Meet at Lyle Park. To get there, take Arkansas Highway 5 (Old Hot Springs Highway) to Lyledale Road and drive to the end. If there’s water coming in your vehicle, you went too far. To help find your way, here’s a map link.
You can choose to help with the crew on shore or from a boat…
The land crew will travel to Moore Ford to get two larger items off the gravel bar. There’s a waterlogged styrofoam dock float, and a 55 gallon metal drum. There’s also general litter to be picked up at this access point.
Then the land crew will return to Lyle Park for a boat ride on the SRC Franken Pontoon, across the river to a known flood debris trash collection area. Suitable attire will be any outdoor clothing you are comfortable in, sturdy shoes, muck boots, or hiking boots, and work gloves.
If you have any trash picker tools, you might want to bring them. Bags and specialty tools like shovels and saws will be available.
The water crew will go with Bob “Load Me Up!” Tyler on a downriver trip from Peeler Bend to Lyle Park, with a stop at one known collection point. Water level will be low but adequate for this section. Distance is 3.9 miles, so this crew should be able to join the land crew for the afternoon hot dogs.
Boats will be available, or you can bring your own. A shuttle will be provided.
Wear temperature appropriate river clothing. That might mean drysuits, wetsuits, or just a dry bag with a change of warm clothes, as long as you’ve got some level of experience boating in cooler temperatures.
The current forecast is Mostly Sunny, 4% chance of rain, with temps starting in the 40’s but rising to 58 degrees. Check for updated forecasts on the Saline River Canoe Facebook page as the day gets closer.
You can RSVP in the comments of their Facebook post. Let them know you’re coming so they can plan for it. They’ll be grilling hot dogs after the cleanup. Here’s the link to comment or keep updated: www.facebook.com/canoearkansas
See the list of all the events in Saline County by going to www.mysaline.com/events