The City of Gainesville Department of Water Resources will hold its annual stream cleanup in September, however, this year’s event is going virtual due to concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In previous years, the stream cleanup was held on a single Saturday in September, but the 2020 stream cleanup will be held the entire week of Sept. 21 to help with social distancing. Throughout that week, interested volunteers in Hall County can choose to clean up any local pond, stream, lake or river on a day and time of their choice.
Another change for this year’s virtual event is the way in which volunteers will acquire their cleanup kit prior to venturing out into Hall’s waterways. Volunteers will first need to register their group and the location of their choice online. Volunteers can then pick up their liability waivers, trash bags, gloves, Rivers Alive face buffs and instructions at the Department of Water Resources office.
In the past, volunteers would start the day at the Flat Creek Water Reclamation Facility, where they would sign in, join a group, and collect their cleanup kit.
Kristen Howard, Water Conservation Specialist with Gainesville's Department of Water Resources, says she encourages everyone to participate in this year’s event.
“We encourage everybody to participate no matter how big or small their group is. We just want to see people out there helping getting our streams cleaned up,” Howard said.
According to Howard, volunteers who participated in the 2019 stream cleanup collected over 1,180 pounds of trash.
The event, which is also sponsored by Keep Hall Beautiful, is a part of Rivers Alive, a statewide initiative that targets the cleanup of all waterways in the state.