After two years as a season-long event (and 28 years as a one-day event before that), organizers of Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake are switching up the format for 2018.
The annual lake cleanup event will take place over three weekends in May with non-profit groups, individuals, businesses and families all encouraged to participate, 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.
“When planning this important community event, the committee is always looking to find ways to increase participation and make the event more user-friendly,” Smith said. “Based on feedback we’ve received, we feel confident this new format, along with some additional tweaks, will accomplish both goals.”
Take Pride events will take place May 5-6, May 12-13 and May 19-20. Participants may clean up the lake, shoreline or both on their own or as part of an organized group. Three large dumpsters will be available at various locations on the lake on the three designated weekends with exact spots still being finalized, Smith said.
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. This is in addition to the three designated dumpsters.
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 may pick up their supplies then. Another option is to download the online form and pick up materials at the TLAC office (400 Scruggs Road, Suite 200, Moneta) beginning in mid-April.
Smith stressed that the committee also is looking for volunteers — individuals, civic groups, non-profits, etc. — to help coordinate various aspects of Take Pride in SML, including coordinating pick up of trash and debris from docks by those not able to dispose of it themselves.
“If you want to participate and need physical help with your bags, let us know and we’ll make arrangements,” Smith said.
To register for Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake, click here.