There’s still time to Take Pride in SML!

Smith Mountain Lake residents and visitors can still take part in Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake, a summer-long initiative to help keep the lake and shoreline clean.

Download the one-page registration form as a PDF here.

Vicki Gardner displays a Take Pride in SML t-shirt
Vicki Gardner holds up a sample of the t-shirts that are distributed for free to anyone who participates in Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake. Gardner is Executive Director of the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the annual lake cleanup event in conjunction with the Smith Mountain Lake Association and the Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission. Residents and visitors may still sign up to participate in Take Pride in SML, which continues through Sept. 4.

“We’d love for groups, families and neighborhoods to make one last push through the Labor Day weekend,” said Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We still have free gloves, trash bags and t-shirts available for anyone who signs up before Sept. 1.”

Gardner stressed that participants may pick any day prior to Labor Day to clean up the lake, shoreline or both.

“It can be as informal as having your family dedicate an hour to picking up any trash or debris they see along the shore,” Gardner said. “It’s really about all of us who enjoy Smith Mountain Lake working together to help keep it clean and healthy.”

Take Pride in SML organizers compile statistics each year on how much debris is collected, which is why participants are asked to register in advance.

Download the one-page registration form as a PDF here.

You may also call or stop by the Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission office, which is located on the upper level of The Plaza, 400 Scruggs Road, Suite 200, Moneta.

Thank you for helping keep Smith Mountain Lake clean and healthy!

Volunteers kick off 2017 Take Pride in SML campaign

A corps of enthusiastic volunteers kicked off the 2017 Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake campaign with cleanup events in early May. The season-long cleanup initiative started May 6 and runs through Sept. 4.

“Because of all the rain we had in April, debris levels have been particularly high. It was critical for volunteers to step up early in the season, and we’re so thankful they did,” said Lorie Smith, president of the Smith Mountain Lake Association, which organizes the event in conjunction with the Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission and the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Collecting debris in the lake and around the shoreline were residents of the Walnut Run and Loggers Run communities, as well as the Rotary Club of Smith Mountain Lake.

WalnutRun_TakePride2017_2
Walnut Run neighborhood volunteers remove debris from Smith Mountain Lake as part of their Take Pride in SML event on May 13. Photo courtesy of Brent Reus.

“Individuals, families, neighbors, subdivisions, organizations and vacationers – anyone who wishes to do their part in keeping Smith Mountain Lake clean – can sign up,” stressed Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Chamber. “It’s easy! Just choose any day that works for you and your crew before Sept. 4 to clean up the lake, shoreline or both.”

Free trash bags, gloves and commemorative T-shirts are provided to all participants, up to 25 in a group while supplies last, said TLAC Executive Director Paula Shoffner. In addition, businesses and larger groups may apply for reimbursement of up to $400 for costs incurred for dumpster and landfill fees for on-the-water group cleanup events, she said.

To register for Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake, click here.

For more information, contact TLAC (540-721-4400) or the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce (540-721-1203).

Take Pride to kick off 30th anniversary season on May 6

Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake will celebrate its 30th year of helping to keep SML beautiful with a season-long cleanup initiative beginning May 6.

“Last year, we successfully transitioned from a one-day event to an opportunity for residents and visitors to choose any day during the summer season to clean up the shoreline, lake or both, “ said Vicki Gardner, Executive Director of the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“The feedback was positive. Participants appreciated being able to choose a day that worked best for their particular group or neighborhood, as opposed to being locked into a specific day,” Gardner said. “It also allowed for easy rescheduling if the weather didn’t cooperate. Participants were enthusiastic and collected nearly 13 tons of debris, which we’re absolutely thrilled about.”

This year, Take Pride in SML will take place between May 6 and Sept. 4. Participants – which can be individuals, families, neighbors, subdivisions, organizations and vacationers – are encouraged to register by June 30.

SML Rotary Club members participate in TPISML 2016
SML Rotary Club members (from left) Bill Piatt, Brian Raub and Dick Kenyon unload debris as part of their 2016 Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake event. Photo courtesy of Jim Buchanan, SML Rotary Club.

Take Pride in SML is a joint venture of the Chamber, Smith Mountain Lake Association (SMLA) and Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission (TLAC). The organizers provide groups registered by June 30 with gloves, trash bags and commemorative T-shirts (while supplies last).

Beginning two weeks prior to a group’s registered event, a representative may pick up the supplies on Tuesday or Friday at the SMLA office (lower level of The Plaza, 400 Scruggs Road, Suite 200, Moneta). Following the event, each group will provide a trash collection report. That data will be compiled with details released in September.

See the 2016 Collection Report.

Said SMLA President Lorie Smith, “Advocating for a safe and healthy lake environment is the SMLA’s primary mission, and that requires continuous effort by all who use the lake. Take Pride is an amazing SML tradition that contributes to this important goal, and we’re confident this 30th anniversary initiative will be the best yet.”

A list of groups and scheduled events will be available on the TLAC website. Also available online are forms for registration, trash collection reporting and dumpster/landfill cost reimbursement.

TPISML will continue to offer reimbursement of a limited number of dumpster and landfill fees (up to $400) to assist large, on-the-water group cleanup events. Businesses, including marinas, may also apply for dumpster/landfill reimbursement fees through the program. Guidelines are included on the form.

Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake will promote events all summer long via social media with participants encouraged to post photos of their cleanup efforts on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #TakePrideSML.

Follow Take Pride in SML on Facebook

Follow Take Pride in SML on Twitter

Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake sponsors include:

DIAMOND: American Electric Power

PLATINUM: Western Virginia Water Authority

GOLD:
Berkshire Hathaway Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate

Capps Home Building Center

Carilion Clinic

Glenda McDaniel – Long & Foster Real Estate

Turner’s Dock Building

The Windward Waterfront Lots and Custom Homes

For more information or to inquire about sponsorship, contact TLAC (540-721-4400) or the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce (540-721-1203).

Revamped Take Pride in SML program nets nearly 13 tons of debris

Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake facilitated the collection of approximately 25,700 pounds of trash in 2016, according to the final collection report released today.

“We’re absolutely thrilled with the results,” said Pam Collins, Executive Director of the Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission, which organizes the program in collaboration with the Smith Mountain Lake Association and the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce.

After 28 years as a one-day event, the program’s format was changed this year to a season-long initiative.

“We put quite a bit of effort into educating the SML community on how they could choose any day throughout the season to clean up the lake as a group or an individual, and it really paid off,” said Pete Lewis, president of SMLA. “The feedback we received was very positive, and the numbers speak for themselves.”

Walnut Run Take Pride in SML event
Walnut Run neighborhood volunteers gather for a photo following their Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake cleanup event on May 14. Photo courtesy of Brent Reus.

Between May 7 and Sept. 5, a total of 172 people participated in 17 official Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake events. Of those, 13 groups returned official trash collection reports to the TLAC office. Based on an average of 50 pounds of trash per bag, plus the breakdowns from residents of additional items that were not bagged, Collins said approximately 25,710 pounds (12.86 tons) of debris were collected.

“The report showed approximately 45 of Smith Mountain Lake’s 500 miles of shoreline were covered,” said Vicki Gardner, the chamber’s executive director. “That just shows we have a community that genuinely cares about the quality of our lake. I think it will continue to get better every year as people get more comfortable with the idea they can pick any day in the season that suits their schedule to participate.”

Debris collected included more than 542 plastic bottles, 95 glass bottles, 177 beverage cans, 59 plastic pages and 73 food wrappers or containers.

“In general, people felt good about being able to help,” said Brent Reus, who organized a Take Pride event on May 14 with approximately 40 of his neighbors in the community of Walnut Run. They worked to collect approximately four tons of debris and then enjoyed a cookout, a tradition he said dates back about 15 years.

Walnut Run took advantage of a new program that allowed them to rent a dumpster and apply for reimbursement from Take Pride in SML organizers.

“Having the dumpster at our [neighborhood] marina really made it convenient,” Reus said. “It was a big help.”

Gardner added, “Take Pride is one of the most treasured community service projects we have at Smith Mountain Lake and it’s always heartwarming to see so many people come together to make it a success. With this being the 50th anniversary of the lake, it means even more to see so many individuals, families, neighbors, subdivisions, organizations and vacationers rallying around the idea that keeping the lake clean requires continuous effort by all who use it.”

Read the 2016 Take Pride in SML Final Report.

For more information, contact TLAC (540-721-4400) or the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce (540-721-1203).

7 groups help kick off Take Pride in SML

Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake marked a successful kickoff with seven businesses and community groups holding cleanup events in the first two weeks.

Collecting debris in the lake and around the shoreline were volunteers from the Skelton 4-H Educational Conference Center and Crazy Horse Marina.

In addition, residents in a number of neighborhoods took part, including Beechwood West, Lynville on the Lake, Walnut Run and Riverbay. A group of friends headed by lake resident Richard Day also participated.

TakePride_WalnutRun_2
Volunteers unload debris from a pontoon collected from Smith Mountain Lake on May 14 near Walnut Run. Approximately 35 friends and neighbors took part in the Take Pride in SML cleanup event. Photo courtesy of Brent Reus.

“We’re so excited about the response we’ve already had to Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake,” said Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Volunteers have been so enthusiastic about the change from just one day to a season-long initiative and have already collected tons of debris to help keep SML looking its best.”

Registration is still open!

Crazy Horse 2016
Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake volunteers deliver debris, including a number of old tires, to a drop-off point at Crazy Horse Marina. Photo courtesy of Chris Bechtler.

Registration continues through June 30 for the community-wide lake cleanup effort. Individuals, families, neighbors, subdivisions, organizations and vacationers who wish to participate may choose any day between May 7 and Sept. 5 to clean up the lake, shoreline or both.

Trash bags and gloves will be provided along with a trash collection report form. Each participant (up to 25 in a group) will receive a commemorative T-shirt (while supplies last) following their cleanup event.

Download a signup form now!

Got questions about our dumpster / landfill reimbursement program? 

Businesses, including marinas, and larger groups may apply for reimbursement for costs incurred for dumpster and landfill fees for on-the-water group cleanup events. More details on the reimbursement program are available here.

All forms are available on our downloads page.

Join the fun on social media

We want to see your SML cleanup efforts! Please post photos on Facebook and Twitter and share to our accounts.

Facebook: Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake

Twitter: @TakePrideSML

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #TakePrideSML!

Have photos to share now? We’d love to see them! Please email them to takepridesml@gmail.com

Take Pride in SML announces plan to help offset dumpster costs

Organizers of Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake, a community-wide lake cleanup effort that will run throughout the summer season, have announced a new program that allows large groups, on-the-water groups and businesses to apply for reimbursement of up to $400 for costs incurred for dumpster and landfill fees.

“This plan was developed in response to feedback from organizations that still want to choose a designated day for their group cleanup event and really need a dumpster for the large amount of debris they expect to collect,” said Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce.

BW marina cleanup crew

“Transitioning from a one-day event to a season-wide effort has come with some hurdles, but we’re excited to offer this reimbursement solution to groups that qualify,” she added. “Our goal is to help as many people as possible to participate in this awesome tradition, especially in the lake’s 50th anniversary year.”

Gardner said businesses and organizations must fill out an official consideration form prior to their event (and no later than June 30) and that requests will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional criteria must be met, as well.

Download the official guidelines and the reimbursement application.

Registration is now open!

Individuals, families, neighbors, subdivisions, organizations and vacationers who wish to participate in TPISML may choose any day between May 7 and Sept. 5 to clean up the lake, shoreline or both.large boat cleanup crew

Download the signup form here!

Trash bags and gloves will be provided along with a trash collection report form. Each participant (up to 25 in a group) will receive a commemorative T-shirt (while supplies last) following their cleanup event.

“Changing from one specific day to any day between May 7 and Sept. 5 allows people and groups the flexibility to choose a day that works best for them, piggyback on an existing event or participate more than once,” Gardner said.

Why not sign up now?

To participate in Take Pride in SML, download a signup form or stop by the TLAC office located on the upper level of The Plaza, 400 Scruggs Road, Suite 200, Moneta.

Registration forms should be completed and returned to TLAC no later than June 30.  The trash collection report should be completed and returned to TLAC within two weeks following the event.

All forms are available on our Downloads page.

Share the SML love on Facebook and Twitter | #TakePrideSML

We want to see your SML cleanup efforts! Please post photos on Facebook and Twitter and share to our accounts.

Facebook: Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake

Twitter: @TakePrideSML

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #TakePrideSML!

Have photos to share now? We’d love to see them! Please email them to takepridesml@gmail.com

Take Pride in SML announces major change

Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake, a community-wide program now in its 29th year, has announced an exciting change that will make it even easier for residents and visitors to work together to keep the lake clean.

In the past, the annual cleanup effort was scheduled for the first Saturday in May each year. In 2016, Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake will extend throughout the spring and summer, allowing participants to choose any day between May 7 and Sept. 5 to clean up the shoreline, lake or both.

waving on boatIt’s an exciting shift that makes it more convenient for everyone eager to do his or her part to keep Smith Mountain Lake beautiful,” said Pam Collins, Executive Director of the Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission, which organizes the program in collaboration with the Smith Mountain Lake Association and the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Added Chamber Executive Director Vicki Gardner, “With the lake celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, we felt like the timing was perfect to transform this important and beloved community event. We’re confident this will boost participation by individuals, families, neighbors, subdivisions, organizations and vacationers who understand that keeping the lake clean requires continuous effort by all who use it.”

Participants are encouraged to register their event by June 30. Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake will provide each registered group with gloves and trash bags (while supplies last) two weeks prior to their event.  Supplies may be picked up at the TLAC office located on the upper level of The Plaza, 400 Scruggs Road, Suite 200, Moneta.

Following the event, each group will provide a trash collection report to TLAC and each participant (up to 25 in a group) will receive a commemorative T-shirt (while supplies last).

www.facebook.com-TakePrideSML (1)In addition, Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake will be promoting events all summer long on its website (TakePrideSML.com) and via social media with participants encouraged to post photos of their cleanup efforts on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #TakePrideSML. Please like the Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@TakePrideSML)

A list of the groups and scheduled events will be available on the TLAC website and at TakePrideSML.com. Also available online are the registration form, participation list and trash collection report form.

Registration forms should be completed and returned to TLAC no later than June 30.  The trash collection report should be completed and returned to TLAC within two weeks following the event.

“In the early fall, we’ll compile the trash collection report data and make it available to the general public via local media and the websites so all can celebrate the cooperative effort of keeping Smith Mountain Lake clean,” said Pete Lewis, president of the Smith Mountain Lake Association.

For more information, contact TLAC (540-721-4400) or the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce (540-721-1203) or visit TakePrideSML.com.