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Sound Rivers Awarded Raleigh’s Highest Environmental Honor

Posted on May 15th, 2023

The City of Raleigh honored Sound Rivers, along with our partners The Great Raleigh Cleanup and Walnut Creek Wetland Community Partnership, with the Raleigh Environmental Stewardship Award at the city’s Earth Day celebration last Friday.

“It was an honor to be on that stage for a project that we were able to collaborate on,” said Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop. “Instead of choosing one of us to get the award, they acknowledged all of us.”

The project is part of Sound Rivers’ Litter-Free Rivers program (formerly called Trash Trouts), and the litter-trapping device installed on Little Rock Creek, which runs through the grounds of the Walnut Creek Wetland Center in Raleigh. The trash trap has been successful in a couple of ways: it’s removed quite a bit of trash from this urban and it’s pulled together disparate groups to do so.

“We got the award because of the positive impact the work is having and that it’s bringing together different aspects of the community,” said Emily Fritz, Sound Rivers’ volunteer coordinator. “It’s great that we were able to team up with The Great Raleigh Cleanup and the Wetland Community Partnership to be able to have the trash trap in the area.”

The award ceremony took place at Raleigh Earth Day event at Dix Park, which was packed with celebrants and those in the conservation field.
“It was really cool to see the tables of nonprofits and businesses of people who have a similar goal of doing positive work. I found it uplifting to see so many people doing good and sharing how they’re doing it,” Emily said. “We had a pretty good turnout at our table. It was about 50-50 of people who knew about Sound Rivers or who’d volunteered with us before, and the other half hadn’t, so it was a great opportunity to introduce people to our work.”

In addition to visitors and vendors, Sam said the City of Raleigh had a great turnout at the event, as well, with city staff, stormwater employees, city council members and the mayor in attendance.

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