This month, volunteers gathered at Double Cove Park at Lake Logan Martin for a public cleanup day. The group of about 18 volunteers focused on picking up trash throughout the park, around pavilions and along the shoreline and hiking trails that are part of the Alabama Power (APC) Preserves site.

The volunteers came from the Lake Logan Martin HOBO (homeowners and boat owners) group and community, many of them part of a geocaching group at the park.

Katherine Miller, a lake resident and member of the geocaching group, was instrumental in organizing the cleanup. Her group of geocachers often hold CITO (cache in, trash out) events where they pick up caches along the trail and, on the way out, pick up trash. Miller thought a CITO was needed on the trails at Double Cove Park and reached out to APC for help.

“I live on the other side of the lake from the park and visit the area a good bit,” said Miller. “Every time I go in the trails, I pick up at least a bag of trash.”

Miller posted information about the cleanup day on the “Love Logan Martin” Facebook page and spread the word with her geocaching group to gather volunteers.

APC employees assisted by providing access to the park, trash bags and grabbers, a trailer and Ranger ATV, as well as a dumpster. The group was able to remove almost a full trailer of trash and debris from the trails and park, leaving the area clean and ready for visitors to enjoy.

“It was a very successful day with great weather,” said APC Recreation Development Assistant Steven Posey. “I was happy to see so many folks from the local community gather together to be a part of the cleanup and to help keep Preserves parks and trails clean so they can remain a pleasure for everyone to visit.”

All APC Preserves trails are “carry in, carry out,” meaning that visitors are asked to take out any items they bring in with them. Trash cans are located throughout all the parks but are not installed along trails due to accessibility issues. Over time, trash can accumulate in remote locations for a variety of reasons.

“Unfortunately, not all Preserve guests follow our requests for ‘carry in, carry out’ but we feel the majority do,” said Posey. “We have also noticed that our guests tend to keep the sites cleaner and pick up after themselves when it’s a clean site to visit in the first place. This is why we appreciate the support from the community so much with the cleanup effort.”

Miller also believes the event was a success. “Many hands make light work,” she said. “Lots of people came together to make it look new again and we could still do more! When everyone does their part, the world can be a beautiful place.”

Although there are regular volunteer waterway cleanups organized through Renew Our Rivers, the park and trail cleanup day at Double Cove Park was the first of its kind with volunteers from the community at any of the Preserves sites. The company hopes to work with community volunteer groups to plan more in the future.

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