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Spring cleaning of roads, streams starts in April
Local agencies, governments taking part in Great American Cleanup
Flat Creek Road is one of the roads expected to be cleaned as Keep Hall Beautiful and the Hall County Green Alliance along with Hall County government, Oakwood, Flowery Branch and Gainesville and area organizations team up for local cleanup efforts as part Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup.

Area efforts

Friday: Hall County employees picking up litter on area roads

Saturday: Lake Lanier Association sponsoring Flat Creek cleanup; Flowery Branch cleaning up Flowery Branch Creek

April 16: Oakwood picking up trash from city roads; Gainesville and Hall County Green Alliance sponsoring stream and roadside cleanups

For more information, call Keep Hall Beautiful at 770-531-1102.

Before a litter trap was installed on Flat Creek in December, a cleanup of the long-troubled urban waterway meant serious work.

“It used to be, after a rain you’d … almost be able to walk across (the creek) with all the floating cups, cans and garbage,” said Diane Rothberg, who lives off the creek as it empties into Lake Lanier in West Hall County.

But there’s still trash, mostly lingering from before the trap was installed off Old Flowery Branch Road in Gainesville, and “all the rain we had over the winter … just washed some of the garbage farther down the creek,” she said.

It’s those trash remnants that Rothberg wants to target as part of Great American Cleanup efforts taking place throughout Hall County in April.

In what the Gainesville-based Lake Lanier Association has dubbed “Pristine in 16,” “we’ll be using pontoon boats and so forth in dropping people off at various troubled areas, then picking up the garbage and transporting it to a dumpster on the shoreline,” Rothberg said.

Cleanups sponsored by Keep Hall Beautiful and Hall County Green Alliance, as well as other organizations and area governments, have been scheduled, and volunteers are being sought.

Great American Cleanup, sponsored nationally by Keep America Beautiful, “is the nation’s largest annual community improvement program that harnesses the power of over 4 million volunteers to build vibrant communities,” states a press release.

Hall County government kicks off the month of activities Friday with its “Spring Cleaning Project,” an effort devoted to picking up litter on roads that have been identified as high-trash areas.

“There are so many areas of the county that are kept pristine, but I still receive complaints from constituents regarding litter on a number of area roads,” Commissioner Jeff Stowe said. “I wanted to make sure we responded to those complaints and addressed the litter issue in our area.”

Once the roadways are clean, participants will bring filled trash bags back to the landfill off Candler Road/Ga. 60.

“We want to set an example as a leader in the community for litter pickup and prevention,” Stowe said.

Elsewhere, cleanup efforts are planned on streams, creeks and roads in Oakwood, Flowery
Branch and Gainesville.

“We do this (community cleanup) every year, but one of our goals is to continue to grow the event,” said Kelly Norman, executive director of Keep Hall Beautiful.

“There are certain communities that have established a cleanup and have been participating for years,” she said. “And we obviously use this opportunity for volunteers who want to clean up in some of the hot spots and areas that need consistent attention.

“We also use it as an opportunity for community outreach and to educate people on the
detrimental effects of littering.”

Regional events