Lakeside clean-up projects seeking help

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 17, 2006

Last April, two major cleanup efforts worked together to remove an astounding amount of garbage from the Tombigbee River, Black Warrior River and all over Demopolis. This year, both programs plan to do the same.

The first program to roll around this year will be the second Renew Our Rivers campaign. The Lake Demopolis clean up is scheduled for April 12-15 beginning at 8 a.m. each morning.

Lunch will be served for participants each day at noon.

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Last year Alabama Power, with the help of more than 6,000 volunteers, removed more than 885,400 pounds of trash during Renew Our Rivers cleanups.

The total poundage for Renew Our Rivers from 2000 to 2005 including Alabama and Georgia totals 5.15 million pounds of litter and man-made debris.

The Demopolis numbers were equally amazing. During last April’s cleanups, with help from the Greene County Steam Plant and numerous volunteers, 78,900 pounds of trash were removed from the Tombigbee and Black Warrior Rivers.

Charles McCrary, president and CEO, Alabama Power, said the program has grown tremendously through the years.

“Renew Our Rivers has grown from a single river cleanup event in Gadsden, Alabama to a nationally recognized cleanup campaign that now include Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and the Florida panhandle, five river systems and brings together thousands of volunteers,” McCrary said.

Like last year’s program, this year’s Demopolis Renew Our Rivers will take place at the Demopolis North City Landing.

To get involved, volunteers can join the group anytime during the week of April 12 -15 at the landing. Anyone that has a boat is encouraged to bring it.

Crews will be in boats cleaning up the river as well as on land cleaning up the debris that will eventually get into the river system if it is not cleaned up.

For more information, contact Amanda Hall at 289-6129 or Bob McCants at 289-6160 to volunteer.

One week after Renew Our Rivers, volunteers will have another chance to make a difference when Earth Day is celebrated for the tenth time Saturday, April 22.

During the Earth Day celebration last year, volunteers combed the town filling several bags with trash.

Amy Duckett, who organizes the Demopolis Earth Day cleanup each year, said volunteers picked up 538 bags of trash, 50 mattresses, one vacuum, over 30 tires and seven desks.

Fortunately, the number of volunteers was also high. Duckett said there were 152 volunteers in five hours. Around 90 percent of the volunteers were under 19 years old.

This year’s cleanup is scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

There are also plans, Duckett said to let younger volunteers get in on the action and promote the idea of Earth Day every day in local schools.

“All they have to do is get a grocery bag for each child in the classroom,” Duckett said. “Then they can let the children decorate the bags using Earth Day related items. They can color them with crayons, markers or paint.”

The grocery bags should be completed by April 25. Grocery bags will be picked up and taken to Food World and passed out to customers on April 26.

For more information on Earth Day, the grocery bag project or just to volunteer, call Duckett at 289-2601.