Lake Mitchell HOBO hosting spring cleanup

Published 3:29 pm Thursday, March 22, 2018

By J.R. Tidwell / Editor

The Lake Mitchell Home and Boat Owners Association, or HOBO for short, is hosting its annual spring cleanup March 24 starting at 8 a.m. at Higgins Ferry.

The group has two different cleanup events each year.

HOBO is asking for volunteers to come help clean up Lake Mitchell. Doughnuts and coffee will be provided to volunteers that morning with a hot dog lunch following the cleanup.

Eight people from among the volunteers present will also have a chance to win a $25 cash card. They will be drawn at random.

Dale Vann, who is a member of the HOBO board of directors and chairman of lake cleanup, is organizing the event.

“Many people visit the different lakes out here,” Vann said. “People say Lake Mitchell is beautiful, so we want to make it look pretty.”

Vann said that volunteers need only bring themselves to aid in the cleanup, but pontoon boats brought by those willing to help are a great aid in the project.

“We can take pontoon boats out on the lake and canvas the area to look for trash,” he said.

“Alabama Power takes out two barges to pick up any large items they find. They used to find things like old refrigerators and broken docks, but we don’t see any of that stuff anymore.”

Vann said HOBO brings in a tandem truck each year that is used to haul away the trash found in Lake Mitchell during the cleanup.

“We used to always fill it up, but we don’t always do that now, because we clean twice a year.”

According to Vann, one of the biggest sources of trash found in Lake Mitchell is Walnut Creek. Garbage flows from it into the main river before eventually ending up in the lake.

“We find tennis balls, basketballs, softballs and a lot of Styrofoam cups,” he said.

The idea behind the cleanup is simple: The HOBOs want to keep trash and other debris from detracting from the lake’s beauty.

Vann said that Lake Mitchell stretches 19 miles from Mitchell Dam to Lay Dam, and the HOBOs are going to try to “cover it all.”

He suggests anyone planning to volunteer for the cleanup watch the weather and plan/dress accordingly.