In Sept. 24 IssueBy Kim GrahamTimes Journal Reporter
Across Lake Cumberland, 567 volunteers joined the Friends of Lake Cumberland last Saturday for the 20th Annual Lake Cumberland Cleanup to purge the lake's shoreline of trash and debris.
Volunteers at the event took advantage of the sunny day to collect a total of 2,510 bags of trash and 799 old tires.
"Once again we were blessed with beautiful weather," Friends member and volunteer Debbie Schumann said. "In 20 years, we've never had a rain out."
Since the cleanup began in 1990, the total trash collected is 87,011 bags of trash and 16,169 tires.
"The Friends are happy to be celebrating twenty years of keeping the shoreline of Lake Cumberland cleaner," said Friends of Lake Cumberland president Steve Syphax. "The shoreline cleanup only happens once a year; however, its benefits come back throughout the lake and environment by providing an excellent opportunity for volunteers of all ages to receive a hands-on learning experience of community service."
Experience and awareness appear to have benefitted the effort to protect and preserve the waters of Lake Cumberland.
"It seems like we're finding less trash," said Russell County Solid Waste Coordinator H.M. Bottom. "People seem to be more conscious of what they throw out than they used to be."
Bottom said Russell County Fiscal Court donated the use of a backhoe and dump truck with personnel to operate the equipment to assist in loading trash and tires to the proper receptacles for disposal.
"Each year during the cleanup, we do whatever we can to help," said Bottom.
After the day's work, local volunteers were rewarded with prizes and an appreciation picnic at Lake Cumberland State Park.
Cash prizes, starting at $500 for 1st place to $100 for 5th place, were given to volunteer groups based on the most trash collected. A cash award of $100 was awarded for the most tires collected.
The Danny Brown family, who won 1st place for most trash collected locally, donated their prize money to Cub Scout Pack 277 who came in second and Friends of Lake Cumberland.
Friends of Lake Cumberland is made up of local citizens, organizations and agencies, who care about Lake Cumberland and the environment. Each member helps the annual community cleanup to be a success.
Friends' members work with area businesses and organizations to obtain donations, which are used to pay for everything from the printing of the t-shirts to picnics and prizes for the many volunteers.
The Friends of Lake Cumberland would like to thank everyone who donated money, items, or services to this year's Lake Cleanup.
Anyone interested in becoming a member or learning more about the organization, please contact President, Steve Syphax at 606-451-1402.