Some extra effort and love for the appearance and ecology of downtown Rockmart was provided on Saturday morning.
More than 35 volunteers joined together to cover as much ground as possible while taking part in a special Rivers Alive clean-up day organized by Keep Polk Beautiful. The annual event, which normally focuses on litter and trash around Euharlee Creek and the Silver Comet Trail, featured a little more this year, according to Randy Cook, executive director of Keep Polk Beautiful.
Rockmart Mayor Sherman Ross and his fellow Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Polk County trimmed brush and trees along the creek to provide better access to the waterway, while other groups painted over graffiti on two of the overpasses on the trail just east of downtown Rockmart.
“I thought it went great,” Cook said. “It was a real productive morning.”
Volunteers were provided breakfast courtesy of Bojangles and received a Rivers Alive face buff. Cook Farms donated supplies and drinks for the volunteers, and the Cedartown Junior Service League prepared a hot dog lunch to close the event.
“We’ve done this at least 10 years. It’s a big event. Rivers Alive does a great job sending out the materials and supplies to help us make it a special event,” Cook said.
Rivers Alive is Georgia's annual volunteer waterway cleanup event that targets all waterways in the State including streams, rivers, lakes, beaches, and wetlands. The mission of Rivers Alive is to create awareness of and involvement in the preservation of Georgia's water resources.
Cook said while the clean-up involved Seaborn Jones Memorial Park as well, the highlight of Rockmart is the creek and the trail that runs along beside it.
He credited Ross and Rockmart Trailhead Coordinator Jeri Purdy with doing a great job of focusing attention on it and promoting it years after recreation enthusiast and Polk County native Joe Anderson lobbied to get the Silver Comet Trail completed.
“Today would make Joe Anderson proud,” Cook said. “He did so much work on it and had a vision for what became the bike trail. So many things were happening around our event. The Silver Comet Trail and being able to have such an asset in a great location is just amazing.”
Keep Polk Beautiful volunteers worked to separate any recyclables picked up Saturday and take them to the appropriate sorting center. They also report to Rivers Alive how many bags of litter they collect.
Keep Polk Beautiful has several events during the year, including electronics recycling and other outdoor activities.
The nonprofit is hosting a Pinhoti Trail Flagpole Hike on Saturday, Oct. 10. The 5.8 mile round trip trek on the hiking trail that runs through Northeast Polk County is a moderate hike with hills and rocky terrain and will take about three hours.
Participants are asked to meet at the trailhead on Jackson Chapel Road at 9 a.m. or meet at the Polk County Courthouse parking lot across from Gammage and Sons Funeral Home in Cedartown at 8:30 a.m. to drive to the trailhead.
For more information contact Cook at Rcook@cedartowngeorgia.gov or 678-246-1083.