ESSEX—The area around the Back River Bridge is a lot cleaner thanks to a group of dedicated residents who cleaned up trash and debris during Sussex Community Clean Up Day.

Early on Saturday morning, 15 people went to work under the Back River Bridge, spending two hours picking up enough trash to fill over 40 large trash bags.

This clean up was a part of the requirement for the Keep Maryland Beautiful #CleanUpGreenUp Grant that the Sussex community received. The grant provides the community with funding for more trash and recycling cans—which definitely are needed in order to help prevent more trash from collecting in and around the Back River.

Leah Biddinger, a well known community leader in Essex, said Karen Wynn and Sam Weaver, founders of Maryland Waterways Foundation, were there to lend a hand, along with, Jimmy Edwards, John Melzer, Melody Arbaugh, Jessica Rose, Sam Jordan, James E Johnson II and his sons and Rachel Mc Alpin Spivey and her daughter.

“It was overwhelming how terrible this area looked and to think that this sits right on the Back River and feeds into the Chesapeake Bay,” Biddinger said.

“We spent 2 hours and dug in and cleaned up. No matter how hard or dirty the area is, the feeling of satisfaction and pride when everything is cleaned up is all worth it.”

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