A Resounding Success!
Saturday, Jim and I were part of a group of 22 Sunset Bay residents that spent 4 hours picking up trash on several of the islands on Norris Lake. This was part of a larger 5-county (Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Grainger and Union Counties) community-based volunteer clean-up effort along the shorelines of Norris Lake.
“Volunteers from Union County and Keep Union County Beautiful have conducted clean ups for the past three years on our portion of Norris Lake ,” said Julie Graham, President of Union County Chamber of Commerce. “This year we invited the other counties to participate to make it a lake-wide effort to keep our lake beautiful.”
The weather was perfect and our group of 22 was a strong force to be reckoned with. Collectively, we picked up 104 bags of trash plus various other “found” objects that included tires, an old car hood (any of you car buffs recognize the make/model?) and countless pieces of styrofoam.
One group was ferried to Gull and Bass Islands by our HOA president Dave McIntosh (thanks Dave!). The other group, that I was in, walked across a land bridge (since the water was down) and cleaned up the island that has Day Marker 23. You would not believe the litter on that island! I can’t imagine that it had EVER been cleaned up. Campers had left numerous spent propane canisters, plastic bottles, beer cans, hair spray cans, and deodorant!
We were given 100 trash bags by the TVA and we used every last one, plus a few more that a couple volunteers had brought. We could not have done more on this day, given our resources. The 2nd group, that I was not in, ran out of bags by 11:00, so they had no choice but to disband. It was a wild success and I can honestly say that I look forward to next year to take up where we left off, as we were only able to make a dent in this huge problem.
I am proud to say that my husband, Jim, volunteered to organize the Sunset Bay group of volunteers. Great job Jim! He has some ideas on making it better next year and welcomes your input as well.
Picking up the trash by volunteers is only a temporary solution. Somehow, we’ve got to get the word out that we ALL must “leave no trace of where we’ve been” so that others after us can enjoy this wonderful natural resource called Norris Lake.
How Did the Rest of the Lake Do?
I got an email update from Julie Graham about the other areas. Here is what she had to say:
Beach Island Group
The Beach Island group was made up of 10 volunteers who collected over 111 bags of garbage including 17 tires, furniture and toilets; The Norris Shores group totaled 10 people who collected 18 tires, multiple large propane tanks, furniture and 40 bags of garbage, and the Hickory Star group (which had the Boy Scout Troops) had a large turnout and we are waiting on their report, as well as the community of Black Fox.
Union County Ferry
The Union County Ferry in Sharps Chapel had ten volunteers who picked litter along the shore in both directions from the ferry landing for an average of 4 hours; their haul was 84 bags of trash, and other miscellany including 6 tires, a large plastic drum, and a big plastic box that may have been an icebox or a livewell in a previous life. Les Sponseller started early and had already amassed 35 bags of trash, 4 tires, a ladder, large chunks of styrofoam, and a refrigerator at the Highlands boat ramp area. Our grand total (so far) then is 119 bags of trash, 10 tires, the fridge, and that other stuff. Special thanks to the Smoky Mountain 4-H Club for showing up and picking with such enthusiasm!
Sarah Nicley shared the following about Big Ridge’s clean-up efforts:
- 15 volunteers
- 41 bags of trash
- 16 tires
- 10 blocks of styrofoam in various sizes
- 1 chair
- 1 grill
- 2 barrels