The Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Southeast Arkansas Stormwater Education Program is seeking volunteers for a trail-based litter pick-up event at the Bayou Bartholomew Trail, 5601 S. Hazel St., from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 8.


The cleanup will include a 1.5 mile guided hike along the William G. Layher Bayou Bartholomew Trail.


“Volunteers will be able to improve the quality of the local environment by removing litter and debris that have washed into the area from upstream drainages by stormwater,” according to a news release. “Volunteers will also be able to learn more about the native flora and fauna of the bottomland hardwood forest and wetlands that dominate the landscape adjacent to the trail. The hike is rated as easy due to the fairly level terrain and short distance.”


The cleanup is one of several kick-off events for the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Great Arkansas Cleanup Sept. 8 through October.


Partners in the event include M.K. Distributors, Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, White Hall, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.


“While intended to primarily be an environmental improvement opportunity, it will also serve as a community and economic development activity by helping to maintain the trail which has become a tourist destination,” according to the release.


Volunteers are asked to wear close-toed shoes and work clothes. Trash bags, gloves, water, bug spray and snacks will be provided.


Facts about trails and cleanups:


• Trails contributed $137 million to Benton and Washington Counties in 2017;


• Extension volunteers removing litter in Pine Bluff have contributed $31,000 in community service in 2018;


• Extension volunteers have removed 7,500 pounds of trash and debris from Pine Bluff in 2018.


Participants may register for the Bayou Bartholomew Trail by contacting John Pennington at the Jefferson County Extension Office, jhpennington@uaex.edu or 870-534-1033.


The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without discrimination.


— John Pennington is an Extension urban stormwater educator for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture in Jefferson County.