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Cleaning up beyond Public Lands Day

Volunteers built bluebird boxes and fish attractors and picked up trash by West Point Lake on Saturday as part of National Public Lands Day. According to the National Park Service, National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort, and Troup County certainly showed its support with over 200 volunteers walking the shoreline on Saturday.

The annual event was a great opportunity to clean up some of the trash that too often clutters one of the county’s biggest economic engines. Thousands of people visit West Point Lake every year, and it is a beautiful feature that not every community has. However, it is important that we focus on the lake for more than just one day.

A few questions to the right people always seem to reveal the same answers on the origin of the trash in West Point Lake. The majority of this lakeside is believed to have floated downriver from our larger northern neighbors, like Atlanta, creating frustration for fishermen and outdoors enthusiasts who sometimes find plastic bags instead of fish.

We are now in the first days of fall, so there will likely be fewer skiers, swimmers and kayakers in the lake, but for those who do continue to make use of the lake through the fall and winter months, we hope you will find inspiration in the goal of the City of LaGrange’s group to “Leave LaGrange Better Than We Found It.” The idea behind that thought is to not only take home your own water bottle and whatever other trash you may have, but to look around your favorite fishing spot and pick up a few pieces of trash when you can safely do so.

For those of us not on the lake, it is important to remember that a lot of the trash on roadsides ends out being washed into the lake, so the next time you are out for a walk, try picking up a few pieces of litter along the way. 

If we all pickup just a little bit, then our community will be a better, cleaner place for all of us to live.