The Trashmasters Classic at Barren River Lake will be back to business as usual this year after it was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
There was no general lake cleanup last year, but this year’s classic Sept. 18 will be held in full for the public from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
The event serves as an opportunity for individuals to volunteer and help clean the lake’s shoreline. A picnic will be at noon for classic participants.
“This year we are planning to do what we have done in the past,” said Holly Myers, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers park ranger. “We are doing the full program this year, and we are still looking for volunteers.”
She said the annual event is important as volunteers collect up to eight tons of trash annually.
“If we didn’t do this event each year, the accumulation of trash on our shoreline would be overwhelming,” Myers said. “With everyone’s help, we can accomplish something important. It’s something that makes a huge impact every year.”
Myers said there will be no COVID-19 restrictions on the event, but wearing masks is encouraged.
The only aspect being tweaked is minimizing the crowding often seen at the picnic when people receive their lunch.
The classic will be held rain or shine.
“About four years ago we had a really good downpour all day long,” Myers said. “Our volunteers were so dedicated, and they stayed for everything. People stuck it out, and this year we will have plenty of trash to find on the shoreline after the shortened event last year. We just go forward.”
On the morning of the event, participants will need to stop at any of the following areas to register at the table near the boat ramps: Bailey’s Point, The Narrows, State Park, Port Oliver and Walnut Creek.
Groups such as church and school groups are encouraged to attend but should call the Corps of Engineers at 270-646-2055 to pre-register.
Myers said anyone can participate, but those under age 18 must have a parent or guardian signature. Free camping is available for Scout groups.
Pontoon boats are vital to this event as they are required to shuttle volunteers and trash back and forth along the shoreline. Myers said they still need volunteers to provide boats for the classic.
As a token of appreciation, pontoon boat owners will be given a choice of a gift card to offset the cost of gas or two nights free camping at any Barren River Lake campground.
Tarps will be provided to line boats for trash pickup, and a pressure washer will be available for cleanup of boats afterwards. Trash bags and gloves will be provided.
If you do not have a pontoon, you can volunteer as a registration person or zone coordinator at one of the boat ramps. To register for one of these jobs, or as a pontoon boat driver, contact Myers at 270-646-2055.
Music, free food and prizes will also be provided to participants. As has become Trashmasters tradition, this year’s grand prize will be a kayak package.
Friends of Barren River Lake & Park, a nonprofit organization, is accepting donations to fully support the costs of food, drinks and prizes provided to the volunteers at the festivities.
The lakeshore cleanup is designated an official National Public Lands Day Event and is sponsored by The Friends of Barren River Lake & Park and coordinated in conjunction with Barren River Lake State Resort Park.
– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.