Rivers Alive Cleanups Target Local Waterways
On an overcast day during Paulding County Schools Fall Break, Paulding County 4-H’ers and Adult Volunteers came out to White Oak Park to clean up, as part of the continuing statewide campaign to clean and preserve over 70,000 miles of Georgia’s rivers and streams. The effort was part of Rivers Alive, a joint program of the Environmental Protection Division’s Outreach Education Programs and the Department of Community Affairs’ Keep Georgia Beautiful Program.
The annual Georgia Waterway Cleanup is expected to once again be the largest single volunteer effort to beautify Georgia’s water resources. Paulding County UGA Cooperative Extension 4-H’ers and Master Gardener Extension Volunteers, Keep Paulding Beautiful, and the Paulding County Water System teamed up to stage their cleanup on Thursday, September 24 at the park in Dallas. In a normal year, almost 25,000 people participate in cleanups statewide. Volunteers cleaned up trash from the creek, pond banks, walking trails, fields, picnic shelters, parking areas, and playground area in the park. This fall over 200 other cleanups will collect trash and similar debris in streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and the ocean from Lake Allatoona in North Georgia to the Ochlockonee River in the South.
In addition to the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and 4-H, the cleanup at White Oak Park was sponsored by Keep Paulding Beautiful and Paulding County Parks and Recreation Department. Bob Banks, Keep Paulding Beautiful Volunteer and President of Paulding County Master Gardeners was pleased with this year’s participation, “With a slight break in the rain, and a cool breezy day, volunteers from the 4-H, Master Gardeners and Keep Paulding Beautiful cleaned up trash around White Oak Park! This annual Rivers Alive activity provides local groups the opportunity to improve their environment and provide a valuable community service. Everyone enjoyed the morning and felt good about their participation in this worthwhile effort!”
Josie Davis, Paulding County Extension 4-H Agent, commented, “The cleanup is always a popular community service event for 4-H’ers, their parents, Master Gardener Volunteers, and other youth organizations. This year was a bit different, due to Rivers Alive and 4-H COVID 19 requirements, but it still safely brought together a coalition of people who really want to make a positive impact in our community and allow youth to lead through meaningful service. Paulding County Extension is so grateful for the partners who support this event: Keep Paulding Beautiful, the Paulding County Water System and Parks and Recreation.”
Supporters of the statewide campaign include Georgia Adopt-A-Stream and Project WET, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division, Keep Georgia Beautiful and Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Dozens of other local organizations will be sponsoring individual cleanups around the state.
Paulding County UGA Cooperative Extension is an Equal Opportunity Organization that operates as part of the University of Georgia's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Our purpose is to bring current research and information to the people of Paulding County in the areas of agriculture and natural resources, 4-H and youth development, and family and consumer sciences. Please contact us at 770-443-7616 or look for more information on our webpage www.ugaextension.org/paulding/.