Organizers for Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake announced last week that the lake’s annual clean-up initiative will be held this coming May rather than throughout the summer.
“It’s time to re-energize and capture the community’s attention,” said Vicki Gardner, Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce executive director. The chamber, Smith Mountain Lake Association and Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission are organizers of the longtime the event.
For the past two years, the clean-up effort has been held from May through September, but that proved difficult, Gardner said. “We just couldn’t hold people’s attention for that long.”
Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake was revamped in 2016 after being a one-day event for the previous 25 years, which also had its difficulties, such as inclement weather, Gardner said. Oftentimes, trash drop-off sites would go unused during those one-day events, too.
This year, dumpsters and volunteers will be provided at designated sites around Smith Mountain Lake during the first three weekends in May, Gardner said. Organizers are finalizing details on where the dumpster sites will be.
The final weekend, May 26, will not have designated trash collection sites because it’s Memorial Day weekend, and traffic around the lake likely will be heavier with less participation, Gardner said.
Because Take Pride will be a monthlong event, Gardner invited everyone to participate.
Free trash bags, gloves and commemorative T-shirts will be provided to all participants, up to 25 in a group, while supplies last. Groups also can apply for reimbursement of up to $400 for costs incurred for dumpster and landfill fees for on-the-water group clean-up events.
The event officially will kick-off at this year’s SML Business Expo at the Franklin County Family YMCA's SML location. Anyone interested in participating can sign up at the event. Participants who have already signed up can pick up their supplies at the expo.
Registration is available at takepridesml.wordpress.com.
More information about Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake is available by contacting the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce at 721-1203, SMLA at 719-0690 or TLAC at 721-4400.