Texas Beach, a popular James River spot frequented and beloved by Richmonders for… any number of reasons… is getting its annual cleanup this Saturday, and there’s still time for you to pitch in and volunteer.
Organized by the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club and Clean Sweep RVA, this year’s Texas Beach cleanup has already garnered an overwhelming amount of support from the local community, with folks like Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix helping out with supplies and labor.
“Sometimes you hit the right time, and people are looking for something to do and it just catches on like wildfire,” said Amy Robins, co-founder of RVA Clean Sweep, a local volunteer cleanup group. “It doesn’t always happen that way, but it’s awesome when people have this much excitement about making sure that their green space is clean.”
The excitement is so great, in fact, that Texas Beach can’t even handle the amount of people who have volunteered. That just means they’ll be directed to clean up other areas in need.
“The reality is that Texas Beach can’t handle 300 volunteers,” Robins said. “There’s not enough space, there’s not enough trash. We’re not discouraging anyone from coming to this cleanup, but we’re gonna have an overflow site, so that once we know we’ve already saturated the Texas Beach area, we’re gonna send people out to a second point, and help them clean up the Randolph area, and move into Byrd Park.”
Even though there is an effort being made to clean up Texas Beach, there is also a conscious effort on behalf of Beach goers to keep it clean, according to Austin Green, a founding member of the Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix, which gets its name from the treasured spot.
“I don’t think that it’s all people organizing events that are doing this,” Green said. “There are definitely citizens who take it upon themselves to pick up after others, even in their daily trips to the river, and we’re always appreciative of that.”
While the Sierra Club organizes local events like this Texas Beach cleanup, it is primarily an advocacy group, working to advance policies that reduce pollution and expand the use of clean energy. They have recently been fighting for a strong implementation of the Clean Power Plan, which would introduce for the first time limits on carbon emissions produced by power plants.
“Next Saturday, we are picking up trash, which is just one type of pollution,” said Ben Weiner, Communications Assistant for the Virginia Sierra Club. “Every day the club is fighting pollution in the air we breathe and water we drink – we’re trying to pick up that trash, too.”
Editors notes: While I don’t think we can legally advocate or condone drinking at Texas Beach, we can tell people it is a massive dick move to bring glass to the river so whatever you chose to consume, keep it in cans or plastic!