Column: “Let’s Clean Up” Chilton event coming in September

Published 8:29 am Tuesday, September 5, 2023

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By Elisabeth Altamirano-Smith | Community Columnist

Chilton County is blessed with an abundance of natural wildlife, but sometimes litter and debris from roadways can obstruct the experience. Local resident Allen Fossi retired at the beginning of 2023 and moved from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to Clanton to hopefully spend more time fishing. However, each time he went to Lay Dam to fish there was a large collection of bottles and trash floating in the water and along the embankment. Fossi says he routinely takes a trash bag with him each week which is quickly filled.

“It is like that every time I return,” said Fossi. “People need to stop being careless and reckless with their behavior. We have to stop throwing our trash away in waterways and nature.”

While living in Ft. Lauderdale, Fossi participated in several beach clean-ups and hopes to host a series of clean-up events around Chilton County during the next few years. The first event will kick off Sept. 16 from 8:00 a.m.-noon. He invites civic clubs, church groups, families, community leaders and individuals to participate in the clean-up, even if they can only stay for part of the time.

“I will provide gloves and (industrial) 3 mil trash bags,” said Fossi. “Once people have those items they are free to walk their own clean-up path.”

Being new to the community, Fossi said that he is not sure what other areas of Chilton County may benefit from a clean-up day, but started with Lay Dam because that is the area he knew needed it. He hopes to connect with those interested in clean-up events to identify other potential areas around the county.

Fossi recently created a Facebook group “Let’s Clean-Up Alabama Waters and Parks,” in which he hopes to connect with interested groups and people about scheduled clean-up days and projects.

The clean-up event scheduled for Sept. 16 will meet at Lay Dam’s Power Station on County Road 794 in Clanton. Once participants turn off Lay Dam Road, or Highway 145, “Clean-up” signs will be visible along the roadway.

“I appreciate nature and want to expand people’s enjoyment of it,” said Fossi.