by Joe Walker
If you have noticed that Fayette County’s lakes have been looking a bit more beautiful recently, you can thank the folks participating in the Fayette County Water Guardians Project.
The Fayette County Water Guardians is a group of kayakers who have taken it upon themselves to clean up the refuse they find out on the water and around the banks.
County Commissioner Steve Brown, an avid kayaker and creator of the project, said he was finding trash along the banks of the reservoirs.
“I started picking up the trash from my kayak, but there is little room to hold the debris in the confined space, so I thought bringing 30 to 40 kayaks and canoes at once would handle it in a reasonable amount of time,” said Brown.
Kayakers and canoers are not the only ones who have contributed to the project. Concerning the group’s latest work at Lake Kedron, Brown said, “We had quite a few local students volunteer for the clean-up and that shows our natural resources will be protected in future generations.”
Fayette County Water System Director Lee Pope, as well as other staff members, have shown their support for the project and have been providing supplies for the group’s clean-up efforts, as well as t-shirts for the event.
“The one thing I love about people who enjoy the water on kayaks and canoes is they have a real appreciation for nature. Because they get so much enjoyment from the water, most are willing to give back and keep the lakes clean,” said Brown. He also noted the importance of keeping our reservoirs clean since it is the source of the county’s drinking water.
Lake Horton is the next lake on the list to be tackled by the Water Guardians. They plan to meet on May 28, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Along with kayaks and canoes, there is a need for volunteers with Jon boats to help with transporting collected trash back to shore.
The group also intends to begin working on Lake McIntosh later in the summer.
For those interested in participating in the project, contact WaterGuardians@fayettecountyga.gov.
Participants must be at least 14 years old in order to operate a kayak or canoe solo, and must have a life vest. The county will provide bottled water, trash bags, and trash grabbers for the clean-up. First time registrants will also receive a free t-shirt.