Not your typical 30 in 30 Grant Winner post, but not your typical grant winner. We love these guys. They are resounding proof that YOU can effect change at a grass-roots level.
These guys started out in 2009 with a 22 year-old who wanted to do something about the trash in the Shenandoah River. He gathered some like-minded friends with canoes, and they got to mucking about. To date they have gathered:
647 tires, 22,070 pounds of metal, 10,530 pounds of trash, 4 ovens, 26 fifty-five gallon drums, 3 washing machines and a car chassis from the river. They are hitting the 50,000 pound mark and are well on their way to 60,000.
We are proud to announce that Keep Virginia Beautiful is awarding Earth Korps, led by the unstoppable Captain Beau Morgan, a $500 30 in 30 Grant in the Litter Prevention Category. It was tough to pick a category, though, because Earth Korps beautifies their part of the Shenandoah Valley, they educate others as they haul trash from the river and its banks, they prevent litter from ending up in the water, they sort and recycle as much of the trash as they can, and we have no doubt that they are careful about what they bring into their expeditions, thereby reducing their own waste. They do a great job of engaging neighboring communities to get involved, and are deeply committed to creating a sustainable effort that will not only restore this great river to its former glory, but create a movement that will continue to engage their children, and their children’s children. You can join them on Facebook here.
These fine folks have cleanups all the time, and host some great events. If you’re around in the middle of June you can join them in Berryville for the 2012 Shenandoah Riverside Festival, two days of arts, crafts, food, music, and camping, all with a little environmental education thrown in.
We have some great partners in our Second Annual 30 Grants in 30 Days Program in Capital One, Waste Management, and Lowe’s. But it takes the fantastic effort of people like Captain Morgan and his band of Earth Korps Pirates, cruising the high seas of the Shenandoah Valley in search of discarded booty, to move our Commonwealth forward and Keep Virginia Beautiful.