According to Duckett, there are many aspects to think about when it comes to preparing for this type of event, such as determining the activities, finding volunteers and coordinating local artists to display and sell their work.
The organization must plan to accommodate about 250 to 500 people throughout the day, but Duckett expects even more guests to attend this year.
The event can hopefully take place annually to continue the river’s restoration project. Besides educating locals about how to get proactive to protect their river, the project also focuses on restorative tasks. For example, the group works to prevent dredging certain parts of the riverbed where creosote coats the river bottom, giving fish cancer.
“It’s a combination of restoration and education,” Duckett said. “We need both to clean it up.”
Although Blacksburg does not directly affect the Lafayette River, it still has rivers that need to be maintained and protected. Duckett emphasized there are plenty of ways for college students to do their part.
“Certainly clean up after your pet — even if you have a big yard at your frat house or whatever,” Duckett said.
Duckett listed several other ways to decrease harmful impacts on the river.
Duckett encourages people to never dump pipe-clogging grease down the drain because it leads to overflowing sewer drains, which is detrimental to river waters.
“A good rule of thumb is to make sure that only rain goes down the drain,” Duckett said.
Duckett also explained that tweaking vehicle inspections can also limit the effects on the rivers.
“Don’t put motor oil down the drain when you change your oil. Don’t wash your car on your lawn — take it somewhere, like an actual car facility, where they recycle the water,” Duckett said.
Although there are many activities to avoid, Duckett emphasized how carpooling is a great way to help the rivers. Carpooling will reduce the amount of car exhaust that ends up in residue on the streets. Reducing residue is important because it washes into the drains when it rains and ends up in rivers.
Those interested in learning more about the restoration project can go to Riverfest in the Norfolk area for a free, educational day.