This year’s Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake, the lake’s annual cleanup initiative, will once again take place throughout May with organized events scheduled for the first three Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Neighborhood groups, businesses, families, civic organizations and others can participate in any of the organized events or, as in the past, plan their own leanup for any day in May.
“With the extremely rainy weather we’ve had, it’s more critical than ever that the Smith Mountain Lake community get involved in cleanup days,” said Paula Shoffner, executive director of the Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission, which organizes the program in collaboration with the Smith Mountain Lake Association and the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“There is much work to be done to get the lake looking its best for the upcoming season,” Shoffner said.
Registration is required by May 3 for volunteers to receive free gloves, orange trash bags and commemorative T-shirts, as well as participate in a post-event celebration at Mango’s Bar & Grill on May 22.
“This year, we’ve made it even easier for volunteers to sign up by adding an online form to our website,” said SMLA President Lorie Smith. “It’s much more convenient. Just log on to takepridesml.com and click the ‘register now’ button at the top of the page.”
Another convenient way to sign up is at the Smith Mountain Lake Business Expo. Take Pride representatives will be on hand all day to register volunteers and hand out supplies and T-shirts.
The three scheduled dates that dumpsters will be available for disposal of debris collected on the water are:
n May 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Magnum Point Marina near channel marker B37, Crazy Horse Marina near channel marker B10A and Hardy Ford Boat Ramp near channel marker R87.
n May 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Westlake Waterfront Inn at Indian Point Marina near channel marker R37, David and Steve Byrd Boat Ramp near channel marker R28, near the former Water Wheel Marina.
n May 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pleasure Point Boat Ramp near channel marker R52.
“We have the Striper Club, Rotary Club of SML and Smith Mountain Lake Marine Fire/Rescue back again to assist this year,” said Vicki Gardner, the chamber’s executive director. “We’re always looking for more civic groups, neighborhoods, churches, nonprofits and other organizations to get involved.”
In addition to scheduled dates, businesses and larger groups that organize their own on-water cleanup event may apply for reimbursement of up to $400 for costs incurred for dumpster and landfill fees.
The first three weekends in May, volunteers will coordinate debris pickup from docks of those not able to dispose of it themselves. A few restrictions apply:
n Participants must register for Take Pride in SML by May 3 and use the orange bags provided.
n The orange bags must be clearly visible on docks and accessible by boat (for example, they should be placed at the end of the dock for easy access and not on the shoreline).
n Locations will be limited primarily to the main Roanoke and Blackwater channels of the lake and not in coves.