Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful is pleased to announce that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) will support the annual Elk River Canoe & Kayak Trail Cleanup schedule to be held on March 7, 2015.
KALB invites groups and individuals to join with them to help rid the river and surrounding land areas of trash and debris. "The Elk River brings so much to Limestone County. It provides lots of opportunities for recreation and is the main source of water for our communities," said Lynne Hart, KALB Executive Coordinator. "Those who participate in cleanup events like this and see the type and amount of trash collected are most likely to become advocates for a clean community."
All volunteers will meet at 8:00 a.m. at the put-in spot off Highway 99 just west of the river bridge (also known as the old fish hatchery). Supplies and instructions will be given out and volunteers will then disperse to their cleanup locations. All trash and recyclables must be brought back to the starting location to be weighed and loaded up.
Lunch will be served to all volunteers at noon.
TVA's sponsorship will allow KALB to offer cash prizes in a Team Challenge. Groups are invited to register to compete for prizes of $250, $150, and $100 which will be awarded to the top three teams removing the most pounds of trash and recyclables from the river and surrounding land areas. No weights will be added after the noon deadline. The West Limestone Fishing Team won the top prize in 2014 bringing in over a ton of trash! The Athens High School Beta Club came in a close second with over 1,700 lbs. A total of 8,800 lbs of trash and debris were removed from the river and land areas last year.
Financial support will not be TVA's only role in this cleanup. They will also man a boat and provide bags, gloves, and some pickup sticks for volunteers. Fort Hampton Outfitters will provide kayaks to anyone wishing to scout the river; however, the kayaks must be requested in advance and will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Staff from the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center, a division of KALB, will be present with scales to weigh debris for the competition. They will also provide trucks to transport recyclable materials back to the plant for processing.
Ben Harrison, Limestone County Commissioner from District 4, will provide trailers for the collection of debris which will be taken to the transfer station. Harrison, as well as the previous District 4 commissioner, have supported this event since its inception.
For more information on participation and the Team Challenge, visit KALBCares.com, call 256-233-8728, or email KALBCares@gmail.com. You can also follow Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful on Facebook.
By: Lynne Hart