Above, more than 100 Boy Scouts and scout leaders lent a hand in the cleanup effort at the Coley Creek public boat ramp. Volunteers collected so much trash that some had to be taken to another dumpster. | Robert Hudson
Above, more than 100 Boy Scouts and scout leaders lent a hand in the cleanup effort at the Coley Creek public boat ramp. Volunteers collected so much trash that some had to be taken to another dumpster. | Robert Hudson

Archived Story

Hundreds help make Renew Our Rivers’ biggest clean-up effort to date

Published 6:59pm Monday, November 11, 2013

Hundreds of volunteers came out over the weekend to help keep the Lake Martin area beautiful.
The Lake Martin Resource Association held its Lake Martin Renew our Rivers 2013 cleanup Friday and Saturday, as more than 225 volunteers participated in the two-day cleaning effort.
“I think it was just great. This was by far the most successful cleanup we have had since I’ve been dealing with it for 10-plus years,” said John Thompson, president of Lake Martin Resource Association. “The success was due to the fact that we just got the word out on a broader scale to different home owners associations through Russell Lands sending out email blasts. The response was extremely good.”
Volunteers gathered trash on the roadsides and shorelines at different parts of Lake Martin and the surrounding area, with most bringing trash down to dumpsters at the Kowaliga Bridge.
Thompson said an estimated nine tons of trash was collected during the cleanup.
“We had different areas responding. On Saturday we had nearly 30 volunteers working on different parts of the lake and hauling their trash down to the dumpsters at Kowaliga,” Thompson said. “We were very pleased to see we covered a much broader area of the lake and got more people involved than we have ever had before.”
Thompson said participation also included groups in the Elmore County area.
“We had a very comprehensive response from the Real Island area. We had more than 20 volunteers in that area covering roadsides. We had a number of volunteers in and around the Trillium area working shorelines,” Thompson said. “We had a great response at the Windermere area.”
Along with adults, children of all ages helped out with the cleanup, including the area Boy Scouts of America.
“We have always gotten great response from the Boy Scouts and the Horseshoe Bend district. This year was an exceptionally good response,” Thompson said. “We had more than 100 Boy Scouts and leaders out on Saturday covering the public launches. They overfilled their dumpster at Coley Creek and had to haul additional trash down to the dumpsters at Kowaliga.”
Thompson added that it is also good to see children participating and understanding the importance of keeping the lake clean.
“I was also pleased to see we had one of the Benjamin Russell High School juniors come out and participate as part of her service learning hours that students are required to fulfill during their time in high school,” Thompson said. “She did a great job helping out for six hours. It was just a wide range of people who helped out.”

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