Lake Mitchell Cleanup (Photo Gallery)

Published 6:50 pm Monday, April 13, 2015

 Volunteers ready to board boats during a spring cleaning on Lake Mitchell on April 11.

Volunteers ready to board boats during a spring cleaning on Lake Mitchell on April 11.

The Lake Mitchell spring cleanup was a success, according to members of the Lake Mitchell Home Owners and Boat Owners (HOBO) Association.

The cleanup, which took place on April 11, saw 80 volunteers pull more than 2,260 pounds of trash out of the water.

“We pulled a lot of bottles and inner tubes out,” HOBO president Steve Miles said. “We got a lot of the the plastic out of the water, and overall, we’re happy with the (work).”

Residents of the lake, along with students looking to qualify for a scholarship offered by HOBO and members of the Southern Company’s Cooperative Education program loaded up on residents’ boats and barges provided by Alabama Power at 8 a.m. to look for trash that had accumulated in the lake.

Miles said HOBO was pleased with the turnout.

“It’s wonderful,” he said. “It means a lot that people want to take care of where they live and play.”

While many of the items pulled from Lake Mitchell included bottles, cans and styrofoam, other items such as detergent bottles, shoes, sports equipment and even pieces of a boat were pulled out.

“If it’s been made by humans, we’ve picked it up,” said Mike Clelland with Alabama Power. “A lot comes from road ways, and heavy rains washes it in.”

Clelland said Alabama Power and parent company Southern Company, who maintain the hydroelectric dam on Lake Mitchell, try to make everyone in the community understand the impact they have on the lake.

“We try to focus on educating and understanding where all the trash is coming from,” he said. “It’s really important to get younger generations involved.”

Clelland said that whether 80 people showed up or eight people showed up, the lake was better for the cleanup happening.

“Every cleanup is successful because the lake is better than when we started,” he said. “One day, we hope to come out to one of these and just take a boat ride because there’s no trash to pick up.”

Once the volunteers arrived back at Higgins Ferry Park around 11:30 a.m., they were treated to a hot dog lunch.

Miles said HOBO appreciated all of the volunteers, and also said he felt the weather conditions—a bright, sunny day with temperatures in the mid 70’s—helped the cleanup.

“We couldn’t have picked a better day,” he said. “The conditions were perfect.”