I could say the simple mission statement that Fish For Garbage provides opportunities for civic engagement & stewardship of waterways by hosting river cleanups, educating individuals about the harmful effects of riparian trash as pollution, and demonstrating the need for healthy ecosystem services but this is one verse to a song that only provides you with how the story ends. To fully understand this harmonious non-profit, you need to hear the song in its entirety then you will truly appreciate its dramatic & technical conclusion.
The concept of Fish For Garbage began roughly 7 years ago between two friends Brad Greeno and Matt Maxwell as they fished the waterways around Utah’s Wasatch Front Range. They noticed more and more Utah’s waterways were being loved to death resulting in a significant presence of garbage. The pair quickly adopted a routine from the motto “Leave things better than you found them” by filling their fishing nets with garbage as they walked back to their vehicle after a day of fishing.
Though this made them feel good individually it was a losing battle with the volume of trash left behind compared to the garbage being pulled out. How could they tip the scales of removing trash from the river while driving the message “keep our waterways clean”? So, the answer came in the Spring of 2014 with the first annual Fish For Garbage Provo River Cleanup with the idea to rally the community around one stretch of river focusing on removing a significant amount of garbage at one time.
The reception to this inaugural event was strong from a core group perspective but Brad wanted to make it even bigger enticing more people to attend? The solution for Brad was to partner with a group of fishing enthusiasts by the name of the Brighton Anglers. With their extensive media contacts as well as the ability to work with the outdoor industry to generate donations for prizes Fish For Garbage developed the tools to grow exponentially. The result being in 3 years’ time growing from a small group of 20 anglers to over 200 participants from all walks of life this event ,now in its 5th year, is on the calendars of every fly fishing shop in Northern Utah as well as many other outdoor enthusiasts’ social groups.
This story is not over with the success of one day during the year. Now Fish For Garbage has blossomed from a concept into a 4 stop series of waterway clean ups over the year. With recent approval to 501c3 status this fledgling non-profit is in the middle of building an education component to inform participants to not only clean up one to three times a year but to do it every time you go out into the outdoors and the resulting impact you will have on that waterway. Just remember we only have one Earth and we need to make sure it stays pristine for years to come.
So, is this one great song with an amazing message at the end or the beginning to a timeless album that will live on for generations to come?
Thanks for reading and keep an eye on our social media pages for updates and upcoming events!
To Learn More About Fish For Garbage visit them HERE: