Volunteers make for successful Renew our Rivers cleanup on Alabama’s Lake Martin

Volunteers make for successful Renew our Rivers cleanup on Alabama’s Lake Martin
Renew Our Rivers volunteers removed 20 tons of trash and debris from Lake Martin this month. (contributed)

Thanks again to everyone who played a role in the 2018 Lake Martin Resource Association’s Renew our Rivers Lake Martin cleanup, held Nov. 2-3.

More than 300 volunteers participated in this annual event and removed an estimated 20 tons of trash from our treasured lake. Volunteers filled trash bins at Wind Creek Park, Kowaliga boat ramp, Union boat ramp, Real Island Marina and the Alexander City boat ramp with trash removed from the Lake Martin shoreline and adjacent roadsides. Three large bins were filled at Wind Creek. More than 100 tires and a refrigerator were included in the removed trash.

A small, hard-working group of volunteers concentrated on the shoreline in the Elkahatchee Creek and Camp ASCCA area and filled as many as 1,000 large bags with trash that has accumulated over many years. The Dixie Sailing Club was present with its young sailors and cleaned a heavily trashed area near New Hope Church. Boats provided by volunteers, LMRA, Alabama Power Company and Lake Martin Dock Company loaded the heavy bags and large pieces of beaded Styrofoam and transported them to Wind Creek Park Marina and the Alexander City public ramp.

Wind Creek park superintendent Bruce Adams once again supported the annual event in an outstanding manner by providing personnel and equipment to offload the trash. A volunteer group from Martin Dam provided equipment and manpower to handle the trash at the Alex City Public Ramp.

On Saturday, Wind Creek Park was filled with Boy Scouts, Camp Fire Girls and third- and fourth-grade students from Stephens Elementary School accompanied by parents and Stephens art teacher Debra Griffith. These youngsters, armed with bags and orange trash pickers, picked up litter throughout the park, stopping periodically to enjoy the park’s attractive playground.

A large amount of trash was removed from adjacent roadways by the Russell Lands associates who cleaned from Ourtown to the Kowaliga Bridge. Volunteers from Lake Martin Dock Company cleaned from Highway 229 north to the Children’s Harbor Thrift Store. Coven Abbett Highway was cleaned from Highway 280 to Wind Creek Park by the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce staff. Forty students from Reeltown High School did a great job cleaning roadsides in the Union area. Thirty-one residents in the Real Island area gathered at the volunteer fire department and cleaned roadsides throughout the community. The Real Island Marina provided a bin for disposal of the bagged trash. County Commissioner Steve Robinson provided manpower to remove the tires for recycling.

The event concluded on Saturday at noon and was followed by a delicious hot dog cookout courtesy of Alabama Power Company manager Marshall Griffin and his wonderful crew. In addition, snacks and drinks were provided by Alabama Power Shoreline Management’s Rhett Hanks, Kristi Cheany and Clint McKelvey.

This is the 13th annual LMRA Renew our Rivers Lake Martin cleanup, and each year we have increased our numbers of volunteers thanks to the great coverage we receive from the media including Betsy Iler, Amy Passaretti and Cliff Williams. Lake Martin is without a doubt one of if not the cleanest lake in the South, and with the continued help from all these dedicated volunteers, we will be able to keep it that way.

For more information on Renew Our Rivers, visit the website.

John Thompson is president of the Lake Martin Resource Association.

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