ESSEX — Early summer is in full swing, and the Back River Restoration Committee’s Riverfest was a great way to begin the fun. Hundreds of people and families brought lawn chairs and sunny attitudes to spend the day at the historic Conrad’s Ruth Villa to honor the Back River, the Bay and their cleanup efforts.
The Sunday event featured a bull roast on the water with food, catering and infrastructure provided by Conrad's Ruth Villa. The event was emceed by DJ Big George. Bands included Kickin’ n Screamin’, Eclipse, Dean Crawford and the Dunn’s River Band and the lively Shake the Room.
The Back River Restoration Committee is a non-profit group dedicated to restoring Back River and helping to save the Chesapeake Bay, and hosts the yearly music, food and drink fest to raise funds and awareness for conservation needs. The service their volunteer-led organization provides to the community and the region is necessary to the continued life and health of the maritime area.
“I’m so proud of the work done by the Back River Restoration Committee to clean our local waterways and help improve our bay, and I’m excited to support their work at Riverfest,” said County Executive John Olszewski Jr. this weekend.
“Every year, they hold countless cleanups and remove thousands and thousands of pounds of trash from our environment. Their incredible work is a testament to what’s possible when community leaders work together towards a cleaner, stronger Bay.”
“The best way for people to get involved is to follow BRRC on Facebook or our website, savebackriver.org,” the committee’s president Sam Weaver told media last year. “Participating in cleanup is a great way to get involved and makes you realize the issues with trash and dumping. It also makes you feel good about yourself, in that you have made a difference in the world we live in. There are many ways to participate in our cleanups, from actually being in the trenches picking up trash to signing people in, handing out trash bags or gloves, directing people or grilling up hot dogs for our volunteers.”
Weaver said the group has volunteers of all abilities and ages, and that cleanup is most fun when shared by an intergenerational community. “We do always appreciate donations also, of which all funds go to cleaning up Back River and the Chesapeake Bay.”
Weaver promised his mother years ago that he would one day clean up the river, and began as a volunteer with the organization in 2010. He then joined the board and later became president.
Their trash boom has cleaned up more than 3 million pounds of refuse.
“What do our kids and our kids’ kids have to look forward to if things don’t change for the better,” asked Weaver last year. “They will be swimming in a toilet if people don’t change their habits and clean up our waterways.”