HOBO to host Lake Mitchell cleanup

Published 5:06 pm Friday, April 10, 2015

Volunteers work to clean up Lake Mitchell. The Home Owner Boat Owner Association will host a clean up on April 11.

Volunteers work to clean up Lake Mitchell. The Home Owners Boat Owners Association will host a clean up on April 11.

The Lake Mitchell Home Owners and Boat Owners (HOBO) Association will host its spring cleanup on April 11. 

The principle of the event is simple, according to HOBO President Steve Miles: Get the lake as litter-free as possible.

“We load up in boats and go out and pick up trash,” he said. “The county provides us with a dump truck, and we fill it up every time.”

Miles said the event has become a staple of the lake community.

“We do it twice a year,” he said. “One in the spring and one in the fall. We start at 8 a.m., end at 11 a.m. and have a hot dog lunch.”

HOBO will work alongside Alabama Power for the cleaning, providing a barge to help remove heavy items from the lake.

Miles said HOBO has recently seen an improvement in the amount of trash pulled from the water.

“The past two years, we’ve been happy because we’ve gotten less,” he said. “I think we’re doing well. It’s a big deal, and it’s made a difference in the Coosa River. (Trash) affects the aquatic life.”

The Lake Mitchell cleanup started around 2000, and according to event organizer Dale Vann, brings in residents of the lake and outside individuals as well.

Vann said HOBO offers a scholarship to students from the area, and one of the requirements to qualify for the scholarship is to attend the cleanup.

“We’ve started having students, as many as 15, come help,” he said. “Then we’ll have another 35-40 residents (volunteer).”

Like Miles, Vann said he felt the cleanups were making a positive impact on the lake.

“If you stop and look around, you’ll see more trash than you can imagine,” he said. “It’s a lot better than it was. It’s made an tremendous impact.”