From left, Pam Alford, Lori Smith, Vicki Gardner, Andie Gibson and Paula Shoffner, members of the Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake oversight committee, prepare to register volunteers at the SML Business Expo on May 4 at the YMCA at LakeWatch Plantation. More than 50 people signed up at the Expo, receiving a free T-shirt, work gloves, heavy duty orange trash bags, a grocery tote and a ticket to a celebratory dinner at Mango’s Bar & Grill.
Lou Feldvary and Steven Small take a break from Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake cleanup efforts on May 5 at Westlake Waterfront Inn at Indian Point Marina. The two are volunteers with Smith Mountain Lake Marine Fire/Rescue, which is coordinating debris pickup from docks of those not able to dispose of it themselves. Details on the program are available at takepridesml.com or by calling TLAC at 540-721-4400.
Smith Mountain Striper Club members help unload bags filled with debris collected on May 5 at Westlake Waterfront Inn at Indian Point Marina as part of Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake. The cleanup events are organized each year by the Smith Mountain Lake Association, Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission and Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce.
A skid steer loader operated by Take Pride in SML committee member Joe Long pulls up to be loaded with debris collected by members of Smith Mountain Striper Club and Smith Mountain Lake Marine Fire/Rescue on May 5. More than a dozen volunteers took part in the cleanup event at Westlake Waterfront at Indian Point Marina.
Volunteers at Crazy Horse Marina unload from a boat debris collected on the water May 5 as part of Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake. The event’s signature orange bags, along with work gloves and a T-shirt, are available for free to all registered volunteers, including homeowners who clean up around their own shoreline. Download a signup form at takepridesml.com.
Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake, SML’s annual cleanup initiative, will take place throughout the month of May with organized events scheduled for May 5, May 12 and May 19, 2018 at various locations around the lake.
Neighborhood groups, businesses, families, civic organizations and others may participate in any of the organized events or, as in the past, plan their own Take Pride cleanup anytime in May.
Pre-registration is required by May 4 for participants to receive free gloves, orange trash bags and commemorative t-shirts, as well as participate in a post-event celebration scheduled for May 23 at Mango’s Bar & Grill.
Sign up and receive a free T-shirt, trash bags and gloves
Free trash bags, gloves and commemorative T-shirts are provided to all participants, up to 25 in a group who sign up by May 4 (while supplies last). In addition, businesses and larger groups that organize their own on-the-water cleanup event may apply for reimbursement of up to $400 for costs incurred for dumpster and landfill fees. Deadline to apply for reimbursement is May 4. It’s quick and easy!
Three easy ways to sign up for Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake
Take Pride in SML representatives will be signing up participants at the SML Business Expo, which will take place on May 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. indoors at the YMCA at LakeWatch Plantation. For convenience, participants who have pre-registered may also pick up their supplies then.
Other registration options include downloading the online form or stopping by the TLAC office (400 Scruggs Road, Suite 200, Moneta). Supplies will be available for pickup there.
Volunteers offer limited debris collection from docks
The first three weekends in May, Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire/Rescue will coordinate debris pickup from docks of those not able to dispose of it themselves. A few restrictions apply:
“Details are still being worked out,” stressed SMLA president Lorie Smith. “But our goal is to make it easier for those with mobility issues or steep lots to be able to get rid of the debris they’ve collected.”
For questions, please contact TLAC at 540-721-4400.
“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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
“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.”
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.
“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!
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.
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.