The Lake Allatoona Association will host its 30th annual Great Lake Allatoona Cleanup on Sept. 12.
The LAA, a non-profit group that helps to provide both educational and conservation information about Lake Allatoona, holds the event every year to rid the lake of contaminants and educate attendees about the importance of its maintenance. In 2014, the cleanup welcomed over 3,500 volunteers who collected 5.62 tons of trash.
Keep Bartow Beautiful will partner with the LAA for the event in 2015 for the third consecutive year, working in conjunction with Cass High School students to implement educational initiatives and activities for volunteers. The students are part of the Cass High AP Environmental Science and Forensics class taught by Chuck Bohannon.
“Keep Bartow Beautiful is very proud to be working with Chuck Bohannon’s Advanced Placement Environmental Science students, as service learning volunteers, to present the Keep Bartow Beautiful ‘Water Works’ education stations at the Great Lake Allatoona Cleanup,” said KBB Executive Director Sheri Henshaw via email. “The activities we chose for the lake cleanup reflect some of the best we have vetted through students, as well as some we created ourselves to work best with this audience and venue. ... The activities include brief, and fun, interactive lessons about water cycles, watersheds, water conservation, water history, endangered species endemic to the Etowah Watershed and water pollution prevention. With names such as “Make Your Own Watershed,” “Toilet Toss” and “Scoop the Pet Poop,” kids move from station to station creating a bead bracelet based on the water cycle. By the time they have visited all the stations, they have quickly picked up a lot of education, while still having fun.”
Other participants with information booths will include the Pettit Wildlife Preserve, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and others.
According to an information sheet provided by the LAA, the organization hails itself as the voice needed to bring awareness to both state and federal agencies in meeting the needs of the lake and preserving its health. It also aims to create educated and informed lake users who will utilize their knowledge to encourage its preservation. The information sheet states that the lake brings multiple benefits to the surrounding area, including flood control; hydropower generation; water supply to Bartow, Cobb and Cherokee counties; fish and wildlife habitats; and recreation. Over 6 million recreational lake visitors bring $250 million to the local area yearly.
This year, to celebrate three decades in action, the Great Lake Allatoona Cleanup Committee will be having a party to honor its volunteers when the cleanup is finished. The post-cleanup party will feature local DJs and a raffle.
“In celebration of our 30th annual cleanup we are organizing an extra special party for the Volunteer Appreciation event,” said GLAC Committee representative Carole Miller via email. “We are excited, to once again, have Carterville’s very own DJs from The Tom and Chad Show to provide music and entertainment. ... A special feature to celebrate our 30th year is a raffle for all of the volunteers to participate in. Raffle tickets will be available at the entry upon arriving to the grounds. Raffle items include autographed sports memorabilia, Georgia state park passes, memberships and passes to local attractions, restaurant gift certificates and more.”
Miller also noted that there will be a contest for the “Most Unusual Item Found” while cleaning up. Prizes will be given to three winners.
Henshaw noted that she hopes the cleanup will help to create conservationists in the local community.
“Step one, [people] volunteering to clean the lake, and then step two, learning why clean water is so important through education, as well as step three, thanking the volunteers through the free lunch, is a one-two-three punch toward building life-long conservationists,” she stated.
To register as a volunteer for the cleanup, visit the LAA website at http://www.lakeallatoonaassoc.com/. Registration prior to the event is highly encouraged. Volunteers are able to register according to which cleanup site they wish to attend, and multiple sites are available. Arrival time for most sites is between 8:30 and 9 a.m. but may vary.
The Volunteer Appreciation event will take place at Riverside Day Use Park, 513 Allatoona Dam Road S.E., Cartersville, from noon to 2 p.m. Participants will need to present the badge they receive at their cleanup site in order to attend.
The Great Lake Allatoona Cleanup is organized and carried out completely by volunteer efforts from the members of the GLAC Committee. It is the LAA’s largest project each year.