Linda Hartsfield, volunteer coordinator with The Great Lake Allatoona Cleanup is in studio for this episode of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio. Joined by co-hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick, the group discusses the origin of The Great Lake Allatoona Cleanup, how to get involved and more on this Around Atlanta segment of Radio.
About three years ago, Hartsfield retired from the Corp of Engineers after 41 years of service. She was a park ranger for about 35 years, where she worked on Allatoona Lake. She was also there for the conception of The Great Lake Allatoona Cleanup which she followed throughout her career. Once Hartsfield retired, she continued to work with the organization that helps the community and Lake Allatoona.
The Great Lake Allatoona Cleanup was organized back in 1986. The project manager at the time was very involved with scouting. He knew scouts loved to volunteer and earn patches for community service. This allowed for the Cleanup to have a host of volunteers upon its creation. The scouts rose to the challenge and over 4,500 participants gathered to help. In addition to scouts, other volunteers helped with the cleanup and various corporations donated to help the cause. In 2019, The Great Lake Allatoona Cleanup won the Keep Georgia Beautiful award, along with several other esteemed awards over the years.
Before The Great Lake Allatoona Cleanup was created, there were not enough resources and funding available to clean the 270 miles of shoreline and 12,000 acres of lake. In addition to its vast size, there were several areas of lake and shoreline that was not easily accessible. Over the years, the organization has collected tons of trash. In the first year, the group collected over 35 tons of trash. With the dedication and support of the organization, the amount of trash that needs to be picked up has drastically decreased to just over six tons of trash last year.
“If you teach the kids, then they will eventually evolve into being responsible citizens about not trashing the environment,” said Hartsfield. “It has gotten a lot of people evolved, as well. Not only the community around or adjacent to the lake and the scouts but also just people who use the lake to participate on an annual basis.”
The Great Lake Allatoona Cleanup is an annual event that is open to any and all volunteers. Anyone looking to get involved and volunteer their time should visit www.lakeallatoonaassoc.com/the_great_allatoona_clean_up. The next cleanup is scheduled for October 3, 2020. Make sure to listen to the full interview above to learn more about The Great Lake Allatoona Cleanup and how to get involved.
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