Boats and brains on Saturday

Published 10:05 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Keep Suffolk Beautiful is organizing two downtown Suffolk cleanups for Saturday, one on the water and another with spookier Halloween flair.

The Nansemond River Cleanup will be held rain or shine from 9 a.m. to noon at Constant’s Wharf Park and Marina behind the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront, 100 E. Constance Road. Volunteers may arrive at 8:45 a.m. to sign up before the cleanup begins at 9 a.m.

Volunteers will receive safety vests, gloves, grabbers and trash bags. Extra-long grabbers will be given to volunteers aboard canoes and small boats. Volunteers will need to bring their own crafts if they wish to be on the water.

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Groups will clean aboard their crafts while others spread out across Main Street and possibly as far as Lake Meade Park, according to Wayne Jones of Suffolk Litter Control and Keep Suffolk Beautiful.

“We’ll split up and clean up as much of downtown as we can for three hours,” Jones said.

This cleanup will be the last of three major waterway cleanups that Keep Suffolk Beautiful organizes annually. The last major one was Clean the Bay Day in June, Jones said, during which 150 bags of trash were collected, as well as many larger objects like tires and televisions.

He said these cleanups help rid the waterways of storm debris and other contaminants that are frequently found waterlogged.

“We’re trying to clean up that aspect of the river, and we feel like we’re getting somewhere with that,” he said.

Then, in the afternoon, Keep Suffolk Beautiful will be at Morgan Memorial Library at 443 W. Washington St. for the rain-or-shine Zombie Cleanup. Volunteers will receive litter equipment and clean up downtown from 3 to 4:30 p.m. looking like they shambled straight out of a George A. Romero frightfest.

Makeup supplies will be provided on site, and while volunteers are not required to dress up as the walking dead, they’re still strongly encouraged to be festive.

“It should be good. We’ve had pretty good interest in it, and we’re quietly confident that we should get good turnout for that one,” Jones said.

Search for “Keep Suffolk Beautiful” on Facebook or call 514-7604 for more information.