FORT WORTH -- It isn't called 'River City,' but maybe Fort Worth could be.

'This river spiderwebs through the whole community, no matter if you live in southwest Fort Worth or northeast, some part of the river is touching it,' said Matt Oliver of the Trinity River Vision Authority.

But unfortunately, the Trinity is trashed. Especially now.

'After a rain like this, you really see litter in that river,' he said.

'This rain really gives everyone that light bulb effect, knowing that the trash that fell out of a truck or my car door fell into the street, and then it went into a storm drain, and then the rain carried it to the river,' said Kari Schmidt of the Tarrant Regional Water District.

So the timing of the annual 'Trinity Trash Bash' couldn't be better. It is the cleanup's 22nd year, and interest has suddenly spiked. 4,500 people have signed up to clean up, almost double the number from last year.

'You can tell by the numbers - this increase - that they're wanting to get down there, there wanting to clean it,' Oliver said. 'And want to see it clean because it's a part of their daily life now.'

There are now races and walks and bike rides along the river banks, and kayaks can even be rented.

'People are taking ownership,' Schmidt said.

But because the river 'spiderwebs,' as Oliver said, across the community, litter thrown out upstream easily finds its way downstream. He said 80 percent of the trash in the Trinity comes from littering.

'Don't litter - point blank,' Schmidt said. 'That's going to be the easiest way to prevent a lot of the stuff we see washing up along the banks of the Trinity.'

The Trash Bash will go along way in cleaning things up. This year, the event has expanded to nine locations across Fort Worth. Then there's an after-party at the Panther Island Pavilion.

'We're lucky to be in a city this size and the river is about as close to running through downtown as it could possibly be,' Oliver said. 'So it's a gem for this city.'

And after Saturday, it will shine.


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