- Mitchell Northam The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
On Oct. 14, people in communities across the state of Georgia came together for “Rivers Alive,” a program in the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
The program is designed to keep the state’s 70,000 miles of rivers and streams clean of debris. In 2016, more than 23,000 volunteers chipped in at 221 events for it across the state.
This year, 97 volunteers contributed to the event in Milton, and they collected an estimated 3,000 pounds of debris, according to a release from the city.
Common items found were bottles and fast food containers, but volunteers also found a laptop, a shopping cart, an abandoned canoe and 43 tires.
"(The volunteers’) commitment to their community and the environment is a big part of the successful management of the Etowah watershed,” said Teresa Stickels, Milton’s Rivers Alive coordinator and conservation projects manager.
Covering roughly 39 square miles, the 97 volunteers set out across Milton to clean up debris in Little River, Chicken Creek and Cooper Sandy Creek, and picked up trash in area parks and all along Milton's roadways. Volunteers marked nearly 50 storm drains.
The Milton Rivers Alive event dates back almost 20 years, when the area was still unincorporated Fulton County, and was originally started by Milton residents Bill Bailey and Julie Zahner-Bailey.