SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. – Community members gathered together to collect tons of debris during Smith Mountain Lake’s 2022 cleanup days.
This year’s cleanup days were held from May 1 to May 31, a release from Smith Mountain Lake said, and there were approximately 4.31 tons of debris collected.
The release said that these cleanup days were part of a modified version of Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake, which was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
According to the final 2022 collection report, which covered cleanup reports from over 25 miles of shoreline, there were about 125 trash bags full of trash and debris collected.
Items collected at this year’s clean-up days included plastic and glass bottles, beverage cans, plastic bags, food wrappers, lawn chairs, logs, and tree branches, according to the report.
Bill Butterfield, one of the event’s organizers and president of the Smith Mountain Lake Association, said this year’s collection amount fell short of 2021′s numbers.
“We think an abundance of rainy weekends in May and the lingering pandemic contributed to lower collection numbers this year, but we’re still really pleased with the progress made toward cleaning up SML prior to the opening of the season,” Butterfield said.
Butterfield organizes the program in collaboration with the Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission and the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce, the release said
Andy Bruns, the Executive Director of the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce, said that the cleanup days wouldn’t be as successful without the help of the community.
“Our annual cleanup days are so important to the overall health, beauty, and safety of Smith Mountain Lake,” said Bruns. “Many, many thanks to the awesome volunteers and amazing sponsors who make Take Pride in SML possible.”
The release said that volunteers were provided with supplies needed to collect trash and debris along the shoreline and that each volunteer received a commemorative waterproof cellphone bag for their help.
Sponsors for this year’s cleanup days included American Electric Power, Western Virginia Water Authority, Berkshire Hathaway Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate, Capps Home Building Center, Turner’s Dock Building, and The Windward Waterfront Lots and Custom Homes, according to the release.
You can find the full report and learn more about the initiative here.