ARLEY - Polluting a water system is bad for the environment and for people, not to mention it looks horrible next to the homes on the lake. The Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy, Inc. is an established group who work toward cleaning Smith Lake. Even though the group did not have a clean up in the spring and Alabama Power will not be providing boats this year to help with the clean up, thanks to COVID-19 in both instances, the group will be sponsoring a lake clean up event Friday, Sept. 25, as well as the next day on Sept. 26.
This time, there will be two central locations for those interested in helping to keep the lake at its best: Jim King’s Boat Launch and the Dogwood Pavilion Boat Launch. Both locations will have a dumpster, and members and volunteers for the WCSLAI will be at both locations to sign people up.
The group is asking for volunteers with boats to partake in the clean up along with volunteers to just help unload boats as they come in.
“Our beautiful lake really needs a cleanup,” President Jim Eason stated. “Alabama Power has canceled all boat support in the state for at least the remainder of the year, so we need the help, and the boats, of folks who love Smith Lake...The gunk has been accumulating.”
The WCSLAI met Tuesday, Sept. 1, in Arley to finalize plans for the clean up, where Jim Yancey, the new owner of Jim King’s Boat Launch, gave the WCSLAI permission to launch from there and will provide a porta-potty. Secretary Lu Cruce mentioned she obtained permission for the Dogwood Pavilion launch.
To participate, volunteers will arrive at about 8:30 a.m. at either of the locations and can board a volunteer vessel containing others to help with the clean up. Sloughs on the lake are visited, and volunteers disembark to pick up any litter that is seen. Arrival back at the shore is usually about 1:30 p.m. Volunteers are instructed to bring their own life jacket, gloves and insect repellent. Water will be available for the volunteers on the shore, and t-shirts will be provided to volunteers, courtesy of Renew Our Rivers and the Curry office of Alabama Power.
Regarding social distancing rules, Eason reminded everyone to be cordial and courteous.
Jim King's is located at 202 County Road 4007, Arley. The Dogwood Pavilion Boat Launch is located at the end of County Road 3146, Houston.
Directions to Jim King’s: from Highway 278 at the Winston and Cullman county line, turn onto County Road 77 and head south for 5.1 miles. Turn left on County Road 22 and travel 4.5 miles. Turn right at the stop sign on County Road 4006. In 1.5 miles, turn right on County Road 4017, then turn left on County Road 4007.
Directions to the Dogwood Pavilion: from Highway 278, turn on County Road 63 south toward Houston. Travel three miles and turn right on Old Arley Road. Go 2.2 miles and turn right on County Road 3134. In 0.7 miles turn left on County Road 3145, then turn on County Road 3146. The boat ramp is located at the end of the road.
For more information or to volunteer, call Jim Eason at (256) 590-2388 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.