As many as 4,000 volunteers including many local Scouts from Cherokee, Cobb and Bartow counties will come together on Sept. 22 for the 27th annual Great Lake Allatoona Cleanup.
Put on by the Lake Allatoona Association, the organization’s Chairman Aaron Feldt said keeping the lake clean is just something those who volunteer feel they should do.
“I live on the lake. Probably most on committee do not live there, but we all just like to see it stay clean,” Feldt said. “The continued benefit is the use of the lake and water quality.”
On the day of the event volunteers will collect trash left by others along the 270 miles of Lake Allatoona shoreline.
Every year, they remove tons of paper, plastic, Styrofoam, glass, aluminum, tin and even tires that would otherwise pollute the lake environment and its watershed for up to hundreds of years.
Volunteer groups also include marinas, neighborhoods, church groups, civic groups, corporate groups and other local teams and individuals. Feldt, who has been a part of the effort for 25 years, said last year more than 500 tires were picked up, many of them from float break walls around the lake.
“They should have been removed from the marinas a number of years ago. Used to be used around the marinas and now they have broken loose,” he said, adding there is a cost to disposing of old tires.
This year, as an added value for the many scouts, school children and parents who participate in the cleanup, the GLAC Committee has invited local nonprofit organizations whose focus is on children, education and/or the environment to staff informational tables during the free volunteer appreciation picnic, held at Lake Allatoona’s Riverside Day Use Area following the Cleanup, according to a release from the organization.
In years past, more than 1,400 participants have attended the picnic, which features a provided lunch, entertainment and presentations from local sponsors, in celebration of the volunteers, donors and others who have helped make the Great Lake Allatoona Cleanup a success since 1985.
The cleanup is from 9 a.m. to noon and the free volunteer appreciation picnic from noon to 2 p.m.
“This is one of the biggest things put on by any lake in the country,” Feldt said. “We appreciate all the support.” For more information or to sing up to volunteer go to www.greatallatoonacleanup.org and register as a group or individual volunteer.