400 volunteers come out to collect litter (click for larger version)
April 19, 2014CUMMING, Ga. — Nearly 400 volunteers descended on Fowler Park on April 12 to make sure the community remains "Litter Free."
Tammy Wright, Forsyth County's Environmental Program Manager, encouraged volunteers prior to them going out into community neighborhoods and roads.
"We are taking back our community," Wright said. "Litter is not just trash. It correlates with crime and lowers property values. A deterrent for litter, research shows, is community volunteers."
The Keep Forsyth County Beautiful sponsored event was the biggest turnout to date, said Kevin D. Smith, the county's community outreach specialist. Other sponsors included Data Scan, Kohl's, BJ's Wholesale Club and the city of Cumming. Advanced Disposal took care of the bags collected and provided food for participants.
In all there were 385 volunteers who filled 273 bags of trash and recyclables at 27 locations that included roads and parks.
One of these volunteers was Tanner Ralston, 2, and his mother and Midway Elementary fourth-grade teacher Liz Ralston.
"I'm teaching him about the environment and helping out Midway Elementary," Ralston said.
To help with safety, the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office dedicated deputies along with groups near busy roads, including several locations along Ga. 9.
"We live in the best county in the state of Georgia," Sheriff Duane Piper said. "To see so many people involved in our community means so much to us."
The next Keep Forsyth County Beautiful event is an electronics recycling event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 3 at the Cumming Fairgrounds.