Locals to clean up Lake Mitchell

This year, HOBO members and community volunteers will head out on Lake Mitchell to take part in Renew Our Rivers again. Pictured are some of last year's participants during the work day.(File)

This year, HOBO members and community volunteers will head out on Lake Mitchell to take part in Renew Our Rivers again. Pictured are some of last year’s participants during the work day.(File)

By STEVEN CALHOUN/Staff Writer

The Lake Mitchell Home Owners and Boat Owners Association will hold a cleanup day on Oct. 29 as part of the Renew Our Rivers campaign.

The Renew Our Rivers campaign is a partnership between Alabama Power and community organizers and volunteers. In 2015, the campaign’s efforts removed more than 280,000 pounds of trash from Alabama’s waterways.

Lake Mitchell has participated in the cleanup efforts since 2000, according to Rebecca Beaty, a board member of the HOBO at Lake Mitchell.

“I started [working at the cleanup] in its second year. My husband and I went out in 2001 and we’ve done it ever since then,” said Beaty. “We have a good time. It’s a lot of fun.”

Beaty also serves on the scholarship committee for the Lake Mitchell HOBO, which gives out two $2,000 scholarships each year to students from Chilton or Coosa County.

The students must participate in one of the HOBO’s two annual cleanup efforts to qualify for the scholarship. Last year, students from Chilton County High School and Jemison High School received the scholarships, according to Beaty.

“The kids, and even myself sometimes, don’t want to get up on Saturday morning, but once they get out there they realize how important it is to keep the waters clean,” said Beaty.

She said many who live on the lake show up early in the morning with their boats, ready to go. The teams pull trash large and small from the waters until around noon.

“You can’t imagine the stuff that’s in that river that people have thrown in there,” said Beaty.

After a hard day’s work, the team sits down to enjoy a meal together and celebrate a cleaner lake.

All are invited to participate in the cleanup on Saturday, Oct. 29. The crew will meet at Higgins Ferry Park at the pavilion around 8am.