Category Archives: News

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

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).