The water that flows through the James River Park System attracts hundreds of thousands each year. But many people leave behind a lot of trash.
"We do have litter and that's a problem particularly for a natural area because it stands out," said James River Park System Manager, Ralph White.
Crumpled cans and food wrappers are common for White to see.
A team of two staff members empty all 250 trash and recycle bins in the James River Park System each day. But, the problem during the busy summer season -- those cans fill up fast! White says it can be an invitation to raccoons, possums, and foxes.
"It seems needless for people I bring their things here and not take them with them when they leave," said Whitt Suiter, who visits the river roughly three times a week.
It's also a safety issue especially when people leave glass behind.
"We all know glass is a terrible thing because it breaks," said White. "When it breaks it cuts just as deep whether it's a Pepsi bottle or a Budweiser."
Not only is the park having issues with people throwing away their trash, it's also having problems with graffiti on Bell Isle, so that's why White is out here cleaning up.
"We can take the graffiti off about as fast as they can put it on," added White.
Not just at dead rock at Belle Isle, but also inside the historic hydroelectric plant. It's just a glimpse of the overall problem.
It's his crew's job to paint over it and clean up.
More than half of the people who visit the James River Park System aren't from Richmond. It's one reason why he wants everyone to do their part and keep the parks clean so people will keep coming back.
Volunteers make a point to organize several river clean-ups each year. The next one will be in September.
If you'd like to volunteer e-mail the James River Park System at: email@example.com
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