Lake Hiwassee is a gorgeous resource here in Murphy, and I find myself writing about it often in many different articles. A week ago today was the annual Big Sweep. It’s an arranged group of folks who spend at least half their Saturday on Lake Hiwassee cleaning up trash in different coves. Jessica and I did it, and I have to admit, it was a lot of fun! We even did it on our canoe, so we paddled the whole way! It was a bit more work, but I have to admit, it got us to places where larger boats would’ve had trouble and was fun.
It was organized by Silas Allen, our very own head of the Cherokee Building Department, and Susan Hersh (who I might add is the “face” of the Building Department as you always see her running the show when you go in 🙂 ) It takes ton of preparation and organization, and thanks to them, the turnout was great. There were roughly 130 volunteers, 20 boats, and an estimated 20,000 pounds of trash taken from the shores of the lake. This year’s focus was right around Bear Paw. It was such a great event – it was on the front Page of this week’s Cherokee Scout newspaper.
The majority of the trash come from the rivers, creeks, and streams that are tributaries to Lake Hiwassee. It’ll come from someone’s yard and eventually end up in Lake Hiwassee. We found lots of things in the lake such as tennis balls, countless plastic bottles, Skoal cans, tires, coolers, televisions, and tons more. It’s amazing how many things end up in the lake, and it was nice to know we were able to make a difference.