The Rhamnous Earth Day Beach Clean-Up on April 17 was a dramatic success.  Rhamnous is the most unspoiled corner of eastern Attiki, the ancient home of the goddess Nemesis. Volunteers mobilized by the Hellenic-American Democratic Association collected an estimated 1800 kg of trash in some 90 huge sacks.  They raked the bushes, reached under fences, and formed a huge human chain to pass debris over steep, rocky trails from the beaches to the road.  They left the Rhamnous beach, picnic areas, access road and footpath again pristine to enchant a new season of visitors. See the invitation and map here.

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Gates of the Rhamnous Polis

Entering the Rhamnous Polis

Agia Marina and the Beach

 Agia Marina after the clean-up

At the Gates of Rhamnous Polis

View of the Polis

More than 60 volunteers took part, including writers, students, teachers, pensioners, and nature lovers.  Friendly hikers and visitors saw the work in progress and pitched in.  The U.S., Greece, Brazil, UK, Germany, France, Canada, and Ukraine were all represented.  Volunteers shared a communal Mediterranean picnic, and then visited the archaeological site to admire the work of archaeologist Vasilis Petrakos and pay tribute to Nemesis at her ancient temple.

Group Photo 

Brady and Alicia at Rhamnous

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Christine

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It's been a hard day's night...

Working with Friends

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Mark & Chip 

The bulk of the trash was packaging materials, including plastic bottles, cans, sacks, styrofoam, and food wrappers, some of it blown from fishing boats, much of it including old iron, automobile tires and derelict furniture left by insensitive visitors.  This all joined the pile outside the Aghia Marina chapel, bound eventually for Athens' overflowing landfill at Ano Liosia. 

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Garbage on the Beach

Cleaning by the Swamp

Garbage on the River Bank

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Diane & Norman  

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Geoffrey & Friend

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George 

After the work was done, the volunteers gathered at the church for a picnic lunch.

Regina  & Picnic Detail

Picnic!

Picnic by the Church

Special thanks are due to the following people and institutions:

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Archaeologist Maria Oikonomakou and the 2nd Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, for permission to work in the archaeological zone and visit the site.

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Mayor Thanasis Papageorgiou and the Koinotita of Grammatiko, for sending the municipal garbage truck to collect the assembled trash.

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Ram Europe, Greek manufacturers of beach cleaning equipment, for donating heavy-duty garbage bags, t-shirts, hats, and latex gloves.

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Editor John Psaropoulos and the Athens News for publicizing the event.

But particular thanks to the volunteers, people who love the Greek landscape, who came together to protect Rhamnous's unique combination of nature and human toil as a treasure for all times and all peoples.

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View of the Swamp/Steam

Agia Marina Church

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Chip 

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Part of the "human chain"

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Philip & Christine 

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Mandi 

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Elise 

Brady with Garbage

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Volunteer 7

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Volunteer 8

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Volunteer 9

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Lynn Waldie and Christos Deligiannis

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Jean-Paul Pardos

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Chip Ammerman & Christine Counelis

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Volunteers 13

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Colleen 

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Volunteer 15

At the site

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Regina 

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Vicky 

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The Garbage Mountain

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Vivian & Regina 

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Volunteer 17

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Volunteers 11

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Volunteers 12

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Ira & Rosemary 

 

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