MILTON, Ga. – More than 60 people turned out on a soggy Saturday morning, Oct. 19, to help clean Milton’s waterways as part of the annual Rivers Alive cleanup.
Students from Alpharetta High School and Northwestern Middle School turned out in large numbers to the Bailey Farms and Gardens on Hickory Flat Road. One student group in attendance was the Milton-Windward Rotary Interact Club at Alpharetta High School.
“We started the club to help the community,” said Alison Heffron. She, along with friend Suvarsha Sura, joined a half-dozen of their classmates to slog through streams and walk along narrow roads picking up trash and debris.
Nearly a ton of garbage was collected in Milton, with all manner of trash found by the volunteers – tires, shoes, car parts and lots of plastic food items, such as bottles. It was all piled in a heap by the volunteers.
“We like to see that we are getting this out of our waterways, but it’s disgusting when you see it all dumped in one place,” said Cindy Eade, environmental sustainability coordinator for the city of Milton.
The car parts in particular worried the volunteers.
“The smaller stuff will work its way [into the waterways] from the street or drains,” said Eade. “But the bigger stuff was placed there.”
The Rivers Alive cleanup is a yearly hands-on opportunity to learn more about the Coosa River watershed and help improve the quality of the city’s drinking water. The mission of Rivers Alive is to create awareness and involvement in the preservation of Georgia’s 70,150 miles of water resources through local waterway cleanup events that include streams, rivers, lakes, beaches and wetlands. It is an outreach program of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.