Cleanup efforts were underway over the weekend thanks to the work being put in by one man who is reclaiming his life with the help of a court program and local group drug program Mosaic Place.
Volunteers were out along Cedar Creek on Saturday and the group will be in Rockmart in the area around South Marble Street today to take part in an event organized by Mosaic Place to help out Kiefer Beck meet his requirements for graduation from the Mental Health Accountability Court program.
For those who want to come out at midday and help, volunteers will be gathering around noon in downtown Rockmart for the second half of the clean-up event. The Rockmart Homeless Initiative is also taking part in today's program as well.
Mosaic Place's Nikki Kemp was among those who donned gloves and carried trash bags on Saturday to contribute back to both sides of Polk County. She explained one of the reasons why the organization helped Beck organize the cleanup is to offer him and others an opportunity to give back to the community they used in.
Beck, 28, said his hope was to help clean up a place which was once a place for him to partake in substance abuse. He's originally from Gadsden but his family connections drew him to Cedartown.
"This was a big part of my using past, my grandmother lives not too far from here," Beck said of the area around the Cedar Creek footbridge. "I used to come down here before it was like this."
He said that a counselor provided him with words of wisdom he felt was perfect for his reason for being out along the creek: "your environment reflects personally on your mental health."
"That really hit home with me, because I like to be a clean person," he said.
Beck added that it felt good to be helping in a small way to transform an area previously associated with bad times in his mind's eye to one that now he can look on and feel a sense of pride for giving back.
Volunteers from Mosaic Place's board like Marty Robinson and Barbara Glanton were included among the ranks of peers in the program out along the creek Saturday. Coordinating efforts were also helped along with work from Monique Henderson, who serves as the Mental Health Accountability Court Coordinator for the Tallapoosa Circuit.
"We want people to know that the community that we once took for granted, we are giving back to that community," Kemp said. "We're not only hoping to support Kiefer and what he's doing, but also find other projects that we can make an impact."