GSC News

GSC Students Clean Up Little Kanawha River for ‘Pioneer Paddle’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  October 18, 2013

For more information:
Bob Henry Baber
Public Relations Department
Glenville State College

river clean up 2013

Members of Dr. Ross Conover’s Ecology Class with their haul after cleaning up the Little Kanawha River for the ‘Pioneer Paddle’ race.

GLENVILLE, WV— On Saturday September 28th Dr. Ross Conover’s Ecology Class spent over seven hours cleaning up the Little Kanawha River in anticipation of the ‘Pioneer Paddle’ race held the following Friday.

Dr. Conover exclaimed of the service learning activity, “These students’ passion to clean the river bank from the Sand Fork boat ramp to the Pioneer Grille was truly inspirational.  From diving into deep pools to retrieve lost tires, to refusing to leave behind an extremely heavy muck-filled gas tank, I couldn’t imagine anyone that witnessed their efforts would ever intentionally litter again.”

In all, the crew removed 65 car and truck tires, 15 bags of trash, one tank, and assorted odds and ends. “Braving tangled debris, canoe spills, and chest-deep mud, our new ‘Little Kanawha Navy’ ‘Left No Tire Behind’ in their Herculean struggles to sanitize the river. I plan to do this every year,” Dr. Conover enthusiastically added.

Student participants were senior chemistry and physics and general science  education major Steven Pifer from Martinsburg (Berkeley County), West Virginia; junior biology major Cory Ash from Reedy (Roane County), West Virginia; senior natural resource management major Adam Wilson from Weston (Lewis County), West Virginia; senior natural resource management major Steven Miller from Tioga (Nicholas County), West Virginia; senior natural resource management major Randy Cremeans from Barboursville (Cabell County), West Virginia;  senior natural resource management major Michael Singleton from Exchange (Braxton County), West Virginia; and senior natural resource management major Cody Williams from Weirton (Hancock County), West Virginia.

First place winners of the Pioneer Paddle, Broc Brenner and his mother Edie.

Conover’s class efforts were part of the many preparations for Glenville State College’s 2013 Homecoming. Once again the High Adventure Program and the Pioneer Grille sponsored the 4th semi-annual ‘Pioneer Paddle’, a five-mile race down the Little Kanawha River on Friday, October 4th.  First place winners were Broc Brenner, a junior natural resource management major from Mantua, Ohio and his mother, Edie Brenner. The pair won $150.

Dave Bernier, Director of GSC’s High Adventure Program, which sponsors year-long events such as rock climbing, whitewater rafting, skiing, and even parachuting, said, “We are pleased to co-sponsor this fun contest with the Pioneer Grille. It brings the students and community together. I especially want to thank the Ecology and Field Biology Class and Dr. Ross Conover for the cleanup that took place prior to the race. The stretch of the Little Kanawha we navigated was remarkably improved in appearance.”

Partners to the cleanup were the High Adventure Program, which provided five canoes and a trailer, Mountain State Waste, which provided a dumpster, and Skip and Laura (GSC ’89) Rhodes, who allowed property access to place the dumpster.

For more information, contact Conover at or (304) 462-6313 and/or Bernier at or(304) 462-6441.

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