March 29, 2022
Organizers of Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake announced today details of SML’s annual cleanup initiative for 2022.
“Last year, we organized a modified version of Take Pride in SML due pandemic restrictions, and the Smith Mountain Lake community really embraced it,” said Andy Bruns, Executive Director of the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce (SMLRCC), which organizes the event in conjunction with the Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission (TLAC) and the Smith Mountain Lake Association (SMLA).
“We’re hoping to gain even more momentum for this critical community initiative this year,” he added. “We all want the lake looking its best before the tourism season begins, so we’re encouraging everyone who uses and enjoys the lake to take a few hours and volunteer.”
In lieu of scheduling several large events, the TPISML oversight committee is asking volunteers to plan their own smaller events to clean up coves, along the shoreline or on the water any time in May. This includes neighborhood groups, homeowners/property owners associations, civic organizations, families and individuals.
Bruns said TPISML will continue to provide volunteers with free heavy-duty trash bags and gloves, as well as offer up to $400 in reimbursement for groups that utilize commercial dumpsters for their events. Each volunteer also will receive a complimentary waterproof cell phone bag.
“We’re able to provide the materials and the thank you gift because of the continued generosity of our sponsors,” Bruns said. “We couldn’t do it without them.”
SMLA President Bill Butterfield said nearly 200 volunteers participated in Take Pride in SML last year.
“The hybrid approach worked well, in part because groups and individuals were able to pick any day in May that worked best for their schedules,” he said. “Volunteers collected approximately 16 tons of debris, including scores of plastic bottles and aluminum cans, plastic bags, tires and, of course, natural debris such as tree branches and logs.”
Pre-registration is required by May 1 for volunteers to receive free gloves, orange trash bags and a commemorative gift.