PITTSBORO — March 17, 1996, 9:48 a.m. EST Many people consider North Carolina a picture-perfect state, but sometimes the close-up isn't quite as lovely. That's why the Haw River Assembly comes out each year to stage a clean up along the banks of the Haw River. Saturday was the day.
The volunteers, armed with lots of large orange or black trash bags, found their work left for them by picnickers, fishermen, and others who discarded their drink cans, bottles, food containers, and other trash over the past year.
With the state's Neuse River drawing substantial attention for its pollution, volunteer Jonas Monast said he wants to prevent the Haw from getting in the same shape.
"This is where we get our water from," he said, "and we want it to be clean when we drink it."
The banks of the Haw offer a fine escape from the stress of more urban life, and there's always a chance to spot birds, catch a fish or enjoy the wildflowers and trees.
The Haw, approximately 130 miles long, rises in northeast Forsyth County, flowing northeast and southeast through Guilford and Rockingham counties, across Alamance and Chatham counties, and then joins Deep River on the Chatham-Alamance County line to form the Cape Fear River.
In 1709 John Lawson called it the Hau River, and said it was named for the Sissipahau Indians who lived along its banks. It appears as Saxapahaw on the Mosely map of 1733, but has its present name on the 1770 Collet map.
On April 13th, Alamance County fourth-graders learn about the Haw River and its significance during the Haw River Festival