Greers Ferry-Little Red River Clean up featured on KFFB’s Open Mic

(Above) Carl Garner with Keep Arkansas Beautiful, Bob Connell with KFFB 106.1, and Ross Moore Greers Ferry Lake and Little Red Tourism take time out for a picture before they talk about the clean up on open mic.

(Above) Trash Collected in 1978 during Clean Up

September 11, 2010 will mark the 41st Annual Greers Ferry Lake & Little Red River Shoreline Cleanup. Join us during this time as we pick up the shoreline of the lake and river. Afterwards, volunteers are treated to a picnic lunch and entertainment.

In 1970, Greers Ferry Lake had been filled for six years and millions of people came to play, camp, boat, fish, swim and sightsee. They left tons of unsightly litter on the shoreline of the lake and river. Corps funds were not available to clean the entire area so Resident Engineer Carl Garner contacted the Greers Ferry Lake and Little Red River Association and other community and state leaders to develop a volunteer program to attack the problem. On Saturday in September 1970, a team of volunteers set out to clean the 300 miles of shoreline of our 40,000 acre lake.

aerialThe first volunteer cleanup campaign has grown into a year-round environmental protection program involving private industry, civic groups, schools, governments and individuals. It has six objectives: reduce and remove litter by volunteer effort, involve as many people as possible, be a continuing educational program, install in the public a sense of pride of ownership of the nation’s public lands and waters, recycle resources and provide a model for others.

The success of our program prompted the first Great Arkansas Cleanup in 1979 which included all Corps of Engineers lakes in Arkansas and the Arkansas River. And in 1984, using the Greers Ferry program as a model, Keep America Beautiful, Inc. initiated the first National Public Lands Day, with the Greers Ferry program as one of the five pilot programs.

Our program is designed to make people aware of the need for a shoreline cleanup and to solicit help from the general public and from groups and civic organizations. We do this by placing PSA’s in local and state newspapers, radio, and by direct mail outs. Flyers are also distributed at all the area campsites and at the Wm. Carl Garner Visitors Center in Heber Springs. We also solicit help from all area Chambers of Commerce. Marina owners volunteer the use of their party barges and are asked to contact their customers who own party barges and solicit their help also.

Volunteers meet at the commercial marinas and the National Fish Hatchery early Saturday morning to pick up trash along designated areas of the shoreline. Party barges are used to transport the volunteers. The trash is taken to collection points around the lake and river. A picnic lunch and entertainment is provided for those who participate in the cleanup.

Entertainment for 2010 includes a great local band of Don Nunley and the Good Timers, The Harding Concert Choir from Searcy and The Gardner Boys from Heber Springs.

The Recruiting and Retention Command out of Little Rock will also have a climbing wall there.

Come and join us in 2010 for an enjoyable and festive day at Greers Ferry Lake!