Photo by Heather Dawes
Grainger Today Reporter
Bean Station – The Cherokee Lake Users Association held its bi-annual lake cleanup Saturday, November 4. The volunteers for the lake cleanup mostly consisted of 30 Carson Newman students, who were obtaining their community service hours for their Tennessee Promise Scholarships with Operation Inasmuch, and one Walter State Community College student. The Tennessee Valley Authority had two volunteers present. T.V.A. also donated their small barge, gloves, trash bags and many other items for use in the lake cleanup. C.L.U.A. members Fred and Margie Flynn, as well as many other members, were present. C.L.U.A. cleaned up both sides of the lake Saturday morning. The Grainger County volunteers met at German Creek Marina, and the Jefferson County volunteers met at Black Oak Marina in order to clean both sides of the lake simultaneously.
It was a foggy morning, which delayed the group of Carson Newman students, who were arriving via bus, by at least 45 minutes. This did not slowdown the cleanup efforts as the volunteers who were waiting on the other student volunteers were already cleaning up the shoreline at German Creek. A large, rusty barbecue grill was gathered by two members of the C.L.U.A. and Seth Barnard from WSCC, while they waited for the Carson Newman students to arrive safely. This is Carson Newman’s third year sending student volunteers to assist C.L.U.A. in the fall cleanup.
The boats, barge and volunteers all sailed off into the foggy mist that covered Cherokee Lake Saturday morning at a little after 10 a.m. They were out on the lake for a little under two hours and were still able to pick up enough rubbish to fill up four boats and the barge. They arrived back to the shoreline at around noon. The volunteers made fast work of clearing the boats and had enough garbage to finish filling the dumpster. Only specific areas were cleaned. These areas consisted mostly of T.V.A. public shorelines and islands of Cherokee Lake.
CN student site leader Scarlett Edmonds expressed surprise at one of her finds. “I found a bag full of batteries tied together, I can only assume they were trying to run some sort of lights,” she said. The volunteers had worked very hard to get all of the bags and items from the boats and barge to the dumpster. Student leader Chad Morris said, “there must have been at least 11 or 12 little green propane tanks.”
There were 40 or more volunteers cleaning the lake Saturday, and they came back with at least one bag of garbage per person, as well as many other items such as tires, tarps and broken chairs.
C.L.U.A. also has an “adopt a barrel” program that lasts year round. There is no fee associated with adopting a barrel. There is an agreement between the C.L.U.A. member and the association. A 55-gallon drum is permanently placed on an island on Cherokee Lake and chained to a tree. The agreement requires the member to collect the litter a couple of times a year, or more often if needed.