MILTON, Ga. — The streets of Milton are cleaner, thanks to the efforts of about 40 hardworking volunteers.
Students from Hopewell Middle School and Cambridge and Milton high schools donned their orange vests, grabbed several garbage bags and spent four hours picking up trash for the annual Rivers Alive event hosted by the Milton Grows Green and Bailey Farm and Gardens.
Julie Zahner Bailey, a former Milton City Council member, and her husband have been involved with Rivers Alive for about 13 years. Last year, Bailey said, about 1,000 pounds of trash was collected.
“It is very inspiring to see so many good folks coming together for a positive cause that benefits the entire community,” Bailey said.
Rivers Alive, held Oct. 27, is an annual volunteer statewide waterway cleanup event.
The program also works to create awareness and local community involvement in the preservation of Georgia’s water resources.
Zach Bailey, vice president of the senior class at Milton High, has been involved with Rivers Alive since he was very little and takes real ownership in the annual event.
“The students understand how important this is and I’m so grateful they continue to support Rivers Alive,” Zach said.
Milton resident Keersten Farbman volunteered with her children.
“Keeping our waterways clean is important and we’re glad to be a part of this,” Farbman said.
Jack Lindon, volunteer co-chair of Milton Grows Green, a citizens’ committee that oversees the city’s conservation efforts, identified the 18 different sites to be cleaned.
“There are high traffic areas and while the goal is to clean them up, the safety of our volunteers is more important,” Lindon said.
Cindy Eade, city’s environmental sustainability coordinator, helped run the event.
“We’re not only cleaning the streams in the area, but also areas along the sides of some of our roads, where trash seems to collect,” Eade said.
Garbage was collected around the pond in Blue Valley and soccer fields located off Birmingham Highway and Bell Memorial Park.
“This trash directly impacts our water system,” Bailey told volunteers. “What you’re a part of today is very important and has a positive impact on the entire city of Milton.”