|More than 100 volunteers Help the Hooch
Source: By Cheryl Rodewig
More than 100 volunteers Help the Hooch
By Cheryl Rodewig
It was a great year for Help the Hooch. More than 100 volunteers, including Cub Scouts, families, BOSS members and students, gathered truckloads of trash from Upatoi and Uchee creeks and the Chattahoochee River and connecting waterways, said Darlene Hines, recreation specialist with Outdoor Recreation.
Among the items collected were a vacuum cleaner, couch, microwave, office chair and mattress.
“It doesn’t take much,” Hines said. “Say at a chalet up at Uchee Creek, somebody throws out a beer bottle. Over time, the water runoff is going to push that down into the water. And bottles don’t just disappear. We get to appreciate nature at its best, but we won’t be able to do that if this trash continues to pile up over the years to come.”
One of 28 volunteers with the BOSS program, Spc. Alonzo Pettway helped the Hooch for nearly four hours, picking litter from the banks of the water, even a bag of used diapers.
“You wouldn’t treat your own house the way you treat the outdoors. You wouldn’t throw a bag of diapers in your living room and leave it there,” said Pettway, B Company, 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment. “You have to clean up the area where you work and live.”
Pettway, who participated for the first time, said he plans to return next year.
Sixteen students from the Environmental Protection Club at McBride Elementary picked up trash around the school campus and planted chrysanthemums. The group found bottles, towels, football gear, even an old T-shirt.
“I wanted to come out because the environment needs it,” said 10-year-old Kylie Asselin, who joined the club in August.
If people keep throwing garbage on the ground instead of in the trash can, it will add up over time, affecting wildlife and even people, said Kylie, who said she had fun volunteering with her friends.
“You stop thinking about how pretty the world is, and you start thinking about how it was,” she said. “A lot of trash is getting everywhere, and we need to help clean it up.”
Part of the goal of Help the Hooch is raising awareness, said Hines, who helped organize the event. It lets the community keep tabs on how much litter it is producing.
“I believe in leave no trace,” she said. “If you’ve been outside, don’t leave any trace that you’ve been there. If people stay on top of this, then next year, we’ll find less trash. That’s the goal.”