News: Volunteers spruce up Nashville District properties for National Public Lands Day
Story by Maj. David Wheeler
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Hundreds of volunteers gathered at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District properties Sept. 24 to spruce up, repair, construct and refurbish public parks, forests, rivers, lakes, wetlands and cultural and historic sites.
The clean-up effort coincided with this year’s 18th annual National Public Lands Day, the largest annual volunteer hands-on restoration activity of its kind. It also supported President Obama's call to service and America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, an effort to promote the conservation of outdoor spaces and reconnect Americans to the outdoors.
(This report contributed by Park Ranger Roger Austin)
National Public Lands Day turned out to be a success with 10 volunteers from Austin Peay University, five from Cheatham County High School and three young men from the local community. Volunteers joined six staff members to clean up the area next to Sycamore Creek Recreation area that was heavily impacted by the May 2010 flood.
The team picked up and hauled out four truckloads of trash. The volunteers had a real sense of accomplishment when they were finished as the area was completely transformed. The team was able to turn an area that looked more like a trash dump and returned it to its previous use as a scenic walking trail.
Cordell Hull Lake:
(This report contributed by Park Ranger Sarah Bates)
The staff at Cordell Hull Lake is very proud of the 100 plus volunteers that came out and would like to thank Girl Scout Troops 1017 and 1010, Cub Scout Pack 367, Boy Scout Troop 367, Wal-Mart volunteers, and the many other individuals and church groups that came out.
The Corps would also like to thank the businesses that contributed to the success of this year’s event, which include Wal-Mart, Cookeville Pepsi Beverage Company, and Defeated Creek Marina. Without the help of the community, this clean-up effort would not be possible.
Dale Hollow Lake:
National Public Lands Day on Dale Hollow was a great success with 113 volunteers participating in the annual shoreline clean-up. Altogether, they provided more than 400 hours of volunteer service. The day ended with hundreds of trash bags being removed from the lake. The Dale Hollow Lake staff extends its sincere appreciation to all those who participated!
J. Percy Priest Lake:
(This report contributed by Park Ranger Matt Leftwich)
J. Percy Priest conducted two separate clean-ups. First, 25 volunteers donated 75 work hours and collected 15 cubic yards of trash at Smyrna National Guard headquarters. Second, 238 volunteers joined in the lake wide clean-up at 12 Land Based Areas and two Islands. These volunteers worked 1,320 hours and collected 92 cubic yards of trash plus over 70 tires.
The J. Percy Priest staff would like to thank its partners who supported this event. They are the Nashville Clean Water Project, Envolve Strategies, Bridgestone Americas, Waste Management, Lightning 100, Team Green, Metro Beautification, Graham Services, Elm Hill Marina, Four Corners Marina, and Fate Sanders Marina.
The Friends of Lake Cumberland, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District, held the 22nd annual lake-wide clean-up. A total of 570 volunteers participated at six designated sites. Altogether volunteers collected a total of 2,118 bags of trash and 646 old tires, bringing the total participation since the event’s beginning in 1990 to 11,199 volunteers, 90,906 bags of trash and 17,821 tires. Local High School Junior ROTC units, Cub Scout packs and conservation groups participated.
(This report contributed by Park Ranger Rich Rice)
The shoreline cleanup began at 8:00 am with 20 eager volunteers waiting to help clean up the shore line. Those in attendance were Girl Scout troops 44, 486 and 6 other local volunteers. The event was a success with 30 bags of trash, and 4 tires hauled out from the Eureka Campground area, and 8 bags of trash collected from the poplar creek/Lake Cloe area.
Laurel River Lake: The annual Big Spring clean up is scheduled in April 2012.
Martins Fork Lake:
(This report contributed by Park Ranger John Malone)
With cool and crisp fall temperatures in the air, 12 volunteers joined with the staff at Martins Fork Lake to help with trash clean-up around the Smith Recreation Area. With the help of Harlan County Recreation Services, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, and the Harlan County Extension Agent, the event certainly was successful. With over 20 large trash bags full along with other miscellaneous garbage, the recreation area has been improved and enhanced greatly. Jay Long, age 9 of Smith, Ky., had this to say about the cleanup, “It’s a lot of fun helping clean-up the lake. I didn’t know there was so much trash.” The staff at Martins Fork Lake would like to thank all of those that participated in the event.
Old Hickory Lake:
(This report contributed by Park Ranger Noel Smith)
A small number of energetic volunteers organized into three groups participated in National Public Lands Day at Old Hickory Lake. The first group was made up of high school students from Merrol Hyde Magnet School, assisted by Tonya Robinson and Richard Rankin, completed work at the Environmental Study Area. These volunteers removed invasive species such as privet, planted native plants in the garden, and installed bird boxes. The second group consisted of the Old Hickory Lake Ski Club, which re-stripe the parking lot at Nat Caldwell Park. Last, but not least, the Shutes Branch Bike Trail Club cleared the bike trail.
Center Hill Lake:
The staff at Center Hill Lake is having its clean-up activity this Saturday, Oct. 1. The shoreline cleanup is 9 a.m. to noon. Sign-in and garbage pick-up sites are located at the Floating Mill and Ragland Bottom Recreation Areas. Participants will be provided gloves and garbage bags and assigned a section of shoreline to work. Lunch is provided. For additional information, to sign up, or to get directions, contact Park Ranger Gary Bruce at (931) 858-3125.
In 2010, more than 170,000 volunteers nationwide pitched in to collect litter and debris; remove fence and invasive plant species; plant trees and shrubs; build and improve trails; and participate in numerous other projects on public lands and waters.
USACE has been involved with National Public Lands Day since its inception in 1994 and has consistently been one of the event’s largest providers of sites and volunteers. As the nation’s leading federal provider of outdoor and water-based recreation, USACE manages more than 400 lake and river projects in 43 states. With a majority of these projects located within 50 miles of metropolitan areas, USACE sites provide a wide range of safe, affordable outdoor recreation opportunities close to home.