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2019 Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake Campaign nets nearly double last year’s total of debris

Community volunteers collected approximately 84,000 pounds (42 tons) of debris as part of Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake cleanup days, according to the final 2019 collection report

According to Lorie Smith, one of the event’s organizers, the amount is nearly double what was collected last year.

“We got an earlier start on planning and increased our marketing efforts, which really help build awareness for how important these annual cleanup days are to the overall health, beauty and safety of our lake,” said Smith, president of the Smith Mountain Lake Association, which organizes the program in collaboration with the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce and Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission (TLAC).

“The heavy rainfall we experienced over the winter and spring made this year’s efforts even more essential,” Smith said. “We put the call out for volunteers early and the Smith Mountain Lake community really stepped up.”

According to the report, 326 individuals participated in Take Pride in SML (a 32% increase over 2018). There were 50 registered events throughout May at various locations around the lake, including Crazy Horse Marina, Magnum Point Marina, Hardy Ford Boat Ramp, Westlake Waterfront Inn at Indian Point Marina, the David and Steve Byrd Boat Ramp, and the Pleasure Point Ramp. All volunteers received free gloves, trash bags and a commemorative t-shirt and were invited to a post-event celebration at Mango’s Bar and Grill.

Volunteers celebrate a successful 2019 Take Pride in SML cleanup campaign during a post-event celebration at Mango’s Bar and Grill at Bridgewater Plaza.

Debris collected along approximately 101 miles of shoreline included plastic and glass bottles, beverage cans, plastic bags, tires and food wrappers and containers. Paula Shoffner, TLAC’s Executive Director, said the most unusual items collected this year included dock furniture, a full-sized grill and a mega flamingo blowup float.

Sponsors for 2019’s Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake initiative included American Electric Power, Western Virginia Water Authority, Berkshire Hathaway Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate, Capps Home Building Center, Glenda McDaniel – Long & Foster Real Estate, Turner’s Dock Building, and The Windward Waterfront Lots and Custom Homes.

“Without the support of these businesses, there would be no Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake,” Shoffner said. “We are so incredibly thankful for their long-standing support, as well as the dedication and hard work of the organizing committee and all who participated.”

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Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake announces 2019 cleanup dates

Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake, SML’s annual cleanup initiative, will take place throughout the month of May with organized events scheduled for the first three Saturdays in May from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In addition, 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 for any date in May.

Pre-registration is required by May 3 for participants to receive free gloves, orange trash bags and commemorative t-shirts, as well as participate in a post-event celebration at Mango’s Bar & Grill on May 22. Register here.

On May 3, Take Pride organizers will be at the SML Business Expo, a free event open to the public from noon to 5 p.m., to sign up registrants and hand out supplies and t-shirts.

Join a group for Take Pride in SML at one of these organized events.

  • May 4: Magnum Point Marina, Crazy Horse Marina, Hardy Ford Boat Ramp
  • May 11: Westlake Waterfront Inn at Indian Point Marina, David and Steve Byrd Boat Ramp (1252 Waterwheel Drive)
  • May 18: Pleasure Point

NOTE: Pre-registration is still required for the organized events to ensure the proper number and size for gloves and t-shirts. Register here.

NEW! Easy online registration

New for 2019 is the ability to sign up completely online using our handy Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake Online Registration Form. You may also stop by the TLAC office (400 Scruggs Road, Suite 200, Moneta) to register. Supplies will be available for pickup there, too.

TPISML_BizExpo_05.04.18

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 2018 SML Business Expo at the YMCA at LakeWatch Plantation.

Additional dumpsters available for 2019

Dumpsters will be available all three weekends at Crazy Horse Marina and the David and Steve Byrd Boat Dock (near the former Waterwheel Marina) for participants who want to unload debris collected on the water and along the shoreline. On May 11, there will be a dumpster available at Westlake Waterfront Inn at Indian Point Marina and on May 18 at Pleasure Point.

Please note, these dumpsters are for debris collected on the water and along the shoreline only.

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.

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:

  • You must register for Take Pride in SML by May 3 and use the signature orange bags provided for free
  • The orange bags must be clearly visible and accessible by boat (e.g. placed at the end of the dock for easy access), not on the shoreline
  • Locations will be limited primarily to the Main Channel and Blackwater Channel. Volunteers will not be able to go in narrow coves. More details will be provided in the near future. For the latest updates, please check our Facebook page!

Organizers

Now in its 32nd year, Take Pride in SML is organized by representatives of:

Smith Mountain Lake Association

Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission

Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce

For questions, please contact TLAC at 540-721-4400.

Take Pride in SML 2019 Sponsors

Thank you to our sponsors! 

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

In addition, thank you to the following organizations, businesses and individuals who have committed to donating time, services or materials to Take Pride in SML 2019:

Crazy Horse Marina

Westlake Waterfront Inn at Indian Point Marina

Magnum Point Marina

David Byrd, Clifton F. Byrd & Sons

Pleasure Point Homeowners Association

SML Striper Club

Smith Mountain Lake Rotary Club

Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire/Rescue

American Electric Power

Bartlett Tree Experts at Smith Mountain Lake

Bridgewater Marina and Boat Rentals

Grand Home Furnishings

Mango’s Bar & Grill

The McKelvey Companies

Franklin County Solid Waste Management

Bedford County Solid Waste Management

Virginia Department of Transportation

Bays Trash Removal

Franklin Container Services

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

Revamped Take Pride in SML event nets 23 tons of debris

Community volunteers collected more than 46,000 pounds (23 tons) of debris as part of Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake, according to the final 2018 collection report,

Read the report -> TPISML_final stats_2018

“We tweaked the format and got many more people involved in organizing and implementing Take Pride this year, and it made a huge difference. We are absolutely amazed with the numbers,” said the Paula Shoffner, Executive Director of the Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission, which organizes the program in collaboration with the Smith Mountain Lake Association and the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce.

According to the report, 222 individuals participated in Take Pride in SML, which involved 32 registered events throughout May.

Shoffner said, “That’s more than double the number who participated last year when Take Pride was a summer-long event. Those volunteers contributed to collecting nearly four times more debris than what was reported in 2017. Amazing!”

Debris collected along 55 miles of shoreline included plastic and glass bottles, beverage cans, plastic bags, food wrappers and food containers. Gardner said the most unusual items collected included a kiddie pool, washing machine agitator and a bag of freshly shucked corn on the cob.

“We’re not sure how a bag of corn ended up in the lake but figure some family was pretty disappointed come dinner time,” Gardner joked.

Among the changes made this year that organizers say greatly impacted participation include:

  • Declared May “Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake Month”
  • Re-branded the event with a new logo
    New logo blog header
  • Established an organizing committee made up of community leaders, as well as volunteers with past TPISML experience
  • Partnered with local civic groups and businesses to organize three events (May 5, 12 and 19) at various locations around the lake with large dumpsters provided for free
  • Worked with Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire/Rescue to coordinate limited debris pickup from docks of those not able to dispose of it themselves
  • Offered participants the option to plan their own Take Pride cleanups anytime in May
  • Made signup easier by allowing participants to pre-register and pick up their free supplies (t-shirt, work gloves and heavy duty orange trash bags) at the SML Business Expo in early May
  • Added a post-event celebration at Mango’s Bar & Grill as a thank you for volunteers, organizers and sponsors

Sponsors for 2018’s Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake initiative included American Electric Power, Western Virginia Water Authority, Berkshire Hathaway Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate, Capps Home Building Center, Carilion Clinic, Glenda McDaniel – Long & Foster Real Estate, Turner’s Dock Building, and The Windward Waterfront Lots and Custom Homes.

“We’re so thankful for the long-standing commitment we’ve had from these businesses, because the success of Take Pride could not have happened without their support,” said Lorie Smith, SMLA President. “We feel like we’re definitely prepared to elevate the event to another level again next year.”

Photos from Take Pride in SML kickoff events

Check out these photos from a successful fist weekend of Take Pride in SML! Additional volunteers are needed for events on May 12 and May 19. Join us!

May 12
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Crazy Horse Marina (B10A)
Bay Rock Marina (R87)

May 19
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Pleasure Point (R87)
David and Steve Byrd Boat Ramp at 1252 Water Wheel Drive (R28)
Magnum Point Marina (southwest of B37) – Dump truck only

Sign up now or plan your own event!

 

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).