RIVESVILLE, W.Va. – Mount Zion Community Church hosted the first annual “Mon River Trash Tournament” in Rivesville with the help of eleven organizations from the surrounding communities.  

Contestants launched from Palatine Park in Fairmont and Prickets Fort State Park. The river clean up, according to Pastor Bill Rager, is intended to help take care of a natural resource we have been blessed with.

Bill Rager, the event organizer for Mount Zion Community Church and pastor said, “the scenes are breath taking, but there’s so much trash floating around. Every time a storm comes through, the river just becomes a floating trash dump, so our goal is to try to get rid of some of that today, but we just want to take care of what god has given us, you know. This is ours, and I’m hoping that some folks will bring their kids, and grandkids, down and teach them about some of the things we have, some of the resources.

The Taft family came out to clean the upper Mon River together, including their dog Toby.

“We use the river a lot. I have two boats, we fish in it, we knee board, water ski, tube, we also spend overnight on our boat out here on the river, and even then, we’re always picking up trash too. So you know, it’s good to keep the river clean for us all,” said Richard Taft.

The trash collected is weighed in Rivesville, and prizes are given out for the most weight in trash collected, the youngest and oldest collectors and for the largest piece of trash collected. Pastor Rager mentioned a large canoe that has been down the river for years that he had in mind for the winner of that prize.  

“The big guys can’t do everything, that’s when us little guys need to step in and take care of some of the things ourselves,” Rager said.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and Division of Natural Resources provided the materials for the competitors to gather trash from the Mon River.