Newnan High School students and staff members did their part for the environment Saturday, participating in the Rivers Alive cleanup campaign on the Chattahoochee River.
More than 20 students met at McIntosh Reserve in Whitesburg to help remove trash and debris from along the riverbank before heading to Moore's Bridge Park. There, the students – who come from the school’s Newnan Ambassadors and Jobs for Georgia Graduates programs – launched kayaks for a paddling trip down the Chattahoochee River.
Georgia Power Plant Yates serves as a sponsor for the Newnan High group each year.
“(They) have been so gracious and such an incredible sponsor over the past years to us,” said Gaines Coker, career coordinator at Newnan High School, who organizes the annual event.
Georgia Trail Outfitters has worked with Coker and his students for the past decade, providing equipment, support and safety training for what often is some students’ first kayaking experience.
“Many of our students have never kayaked and are unfamiliar with the river,” Coker said.
Rivers Alive is Georgia's annual volunteer waterway cleanup event that targets all waterways in the state, including streams, rivers, lakes, beaches and wetlands. The mission of Rivers Alive is to create awareness of and involvement in the preservation of Georgia's water resources.
Rivers Alive is held annually each fall and is a program of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division Outreach Program.
Georgia's 70,150 miles of streams and rivers provide fresh drinking water, recreational opportunities like kayaking and fishing, and serenity and peaceful escapes from busy everyday lives, according to event organizers.
Volunteers for Rivers Alive events throughout Georgia come from such sectors as nonprofit organizations, corporations, community and civic groups, schools, faith-based organizations, individuals and governmental agencies.