BOONE — TubeBoone, a new tubing organization and clean water initiative, hosted its kickoff on May 21.

The kickoff event, “Get Trashed”, started at 9 a.m. and volunteers will have access to free tubes and a free shuttle to the river until 10 a.m.

“We’re going to go and collect as much trash as we can out of our stretch,” said Owen Stanley, owner of TubeBoone. “We’re going to be really heavily involved in cleaning the river, not just our stretch, but other stretches of the river.”

TubeBoone is a clean water initiative, meaning that they will focus on cleaning trash out of the river and monitoring the stretches around their area.

After working for other tubing businesses in the area, Stanley saw areas in the business that he could improve.

“I figured out just to do my own thing and be more involved in cleaning and preservation,” Stanley said.

Stanley came up with the idea for TubeBoone last summer.

“After COVID we saw a massive amount of people wanting to come outside,” Stanley said.

Between that and wanting a clean water initiative to give back to the community, Stanley saw this as an opportunity to create his own business.

He and his mentor, Natasha Schwade, are working together managing TubeBoone. Schwade is assisting Stanley in organizing the river clean ups and water testing.

Schwade is also working to create “Don’t Trash the New” trash removal fund, which will take 3 percent of TubeBoone’s profits and donate them to the local waste removal facility, which will help with having trash disposed of properly as opposed to in the river, according to Stanlety.

For Stanley, he wanted to make a difference in the community through his business in terms of the environment as well as tubing as an outdoor activity.

“It’s going to be about the community because we’re using the environment as our place of work, so we have to be good stewards,” he said.

During the Get Trashed event, they will work to clean as much trash out of their section of the river – from Roby Green Road to Pine Run Road – and will continue cleaning trash out of the river on the third Thursday of each month through the summer.

Stanley, who recently graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in recreation management, is putting much of his focus into conservation of the river.

Stanley said he has seen firsthand how hundreds of cars parking next to the river can cause issues such as erosion, so he intentionally chose a spot away from the river for TubeBoone parking.

TubeBoone is located off of the river with two buses for transportation to the tubing spot.

“I feel it’s much safer for people coming into town, they still have service, they can pull off right there, they know where they are,” he said.

For more information on TubeBoone and its trash clean up, visit their website at tubeboone.com.

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