By Leah Banks
PEACHTREE CITY — In efforts to keep the environment beautiful and clean, the Water Guardians are preparing to prepare their plight of guardians of the Fayette County Galaxy with their cleanup of Lake Peachtree.
These events picked back up after the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and have since been impacting the Fayette County community.
Since its inception in April 23, 2016, the Water Guardians have made it their mission to cultivate the waters of Fayette County while also raising awareness on the ways to keep the waters in Fayette clean.
Leah Williamson, who is involved with volunteer registration and social media for the Water Guardians, looks forward to the event and feels like, while the pandemic affected the past attendance, this year’s events should pick up steam.
“We cancelled all events in 2020 due to Covid and have only recently restarted events with the June 26th, 2022 clean up of Lake Horton. That cleanup did have a reduced turnout compared to past years. We had 20 volunteers show up but our events in 2019 usually would see about double that. We do have more volunteers registered for the Lake Peachtree event on July 24th, I’m showing 35 signups as of this morning,” Williamson said.
The cleanup, which is taking place on July 24 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., follows the cleaning of Lake Horton. The Water Guardians supply the trash bags, trash grabbers, gloves, bottled water and 2022 shirts for volunteers for volunteers who are joining them for their first cleanup of the season.
Volunteers are asked to bring a boat, kayak, or a pair of walking shoes as well as their blue 2022 Water Guardians t-shirts if they came to the previous event.
If children are volunteering for the event, parents are quested to sign indemnification waivers for child volunteers. All kayak and canoe volunteers must have personal flotation devices on board and follow all Georgia watercraft regulations, according to the event Facebook page.
In addition to the event beginning at 1 p.m., a meal is served from 3:30-4:00 p.m.
The goal of the Water Guardians is to allow for a cleaner environment for the Fayette community while also promoting areas got volunteers to grow their environmental awareness.
“The goal for Water Guardians clean up events is to remove trash from the lakes in Fayette County, several of which provide a source for our drinking water. Many of our volunteers own kayaks and canoes and are in a unique position to find and remove this trash. As we’ve grown, we’ve also attracted a lot of volunteers who will go out on foot along the banks of the lakes to pick up trash. By organizing in a large group we provide the tools volunteers need to be more effective — such as long handled trash grabbers, heavy gloves, and trash bags — and can assist each other with unloading boats and consolidating the trash for removal by the county,” Williamson said.