National Make a Difference Day is Oct. 23, and one local group is gearing up to do its part to help in an area that is often neglected -- Clarks Hill Lake.
Starting at 10 a.m., the RSVP, a Senior Corps program of the Corporation for National and Community Service with the Senior Citizens Council of Greater Augusta, will collect trash from the shore of the lake, logging the cleanup project with the Georgia Rivers Alive program.
"Our Senior Corps does a special service project twice each year -- for Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January and for Make a Difference Day in October," said Marilyn Grau, Senior Corps project director. "Our staff and volunteers have changed smoke alarm batteries for senior citizens, helped with blood drives and even had an ongoing service project by forming a disaster action team for the Red Cross."
Three years ago, when the water was very low, the group decided to initiate a shore cleanup for Make a Difference Day. The group registered the project with Rivers Alive, which keeps track of river cleanups and logs the amount of trash collected on its Web site, www.georgiaadoptastream.com.
"Last year, we decided to do it again, but the lake level was much higher, so there wasn't nearly as much trash on the shore. It was all underwater," said Grau. "I suspect we may (encounter) the same situation this year, but it's worth a try. We'll continue to do this once a year as long as we're making a difference or until a more pressing need is presented."
During the Oct. 23 event, volunteers will meet at the Assembly Shelter at Mistletoe State Park and divide into teams. A contest will be waged and awards presented to those who pick up the most trash, oldest trash, most unusual trash and biggest trash. Lunch will be served after the cleanup.
The cleanup is a perfect opportunity for older children to learn to give back. Individuals interested in participating should keep in mind that it is a work project and not suited for small children.
"I suppose it's not necessary to have this type of program, but we believe it's important to be good stewards of our natural resources," Grau said. "Not only does our lake supply us with water and power, but it also provides a home for wildlife and boosts our economy by bringing folks from around the country for fishing and recreation.
"Unfortunately, some people are careless with their trash, so we do what we can to make things better."
For information on the event, contact Grau at (706) 868-0120.
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