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Earth Week events include tours, activities
Effort began with cleanups
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Forsyth County News

If you're going

All Earth Week events will take place at Coal Mountain Park, 3560 Settingdown Road.

• Coal Mountain Recycling Convenience Center tours: 4 p.m. today; every hour from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday

• Earth Day [Friday] Celebration at Coal Mountain Community Building: pre-school dragonfly classes, 10 and 11 a.m.; graffiti book reading, 11:30 a.m.; water pollution class, 12:30 p.m.; adult rain barrel class, 5:30 p.m. The rain barrel class has a $40 materials cost. All others are free.

• Great American Cleanup: 9 a.m. April 30 at the Cumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Road. To register, visit www.handsonforsyth.org. The deadline is Monday.

• Contact: (770) 205-4573

It’s time for spring cleaning, and that doesn’t exclude Mother Earth.

Keep Forsyth County Beautiful kicked off its Earth Week events last Saturday with an electronics recycling event and will continue through Friday with an Earth Day celebration.

Also on April 16, a group of river volunteers spent time cleaning up the Chattahoochee River.

During the semiannual electronics recycling day, 268 vehicles dropped off old electronics, said Tammy Wright, director of Keep Forsyth County Beautiful.

The organization is still calculating the total pounds collected, she said.

On the river, more than 358 volunteers set out on the Sweep the Hooch, an inaugural one-day cleanup.

Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, National Park Service and Trout Unlimited organized the event, which focused on 14 sites along the river, starting in Forsyth.

About 2.76 tons of trash was collected and nearly 1,500 pounds of materials were recycled, said David Lee Simmons, communications director with the riverkeeper group.

Heavy rain the night before prevented some areas from being safe to clean and limited the turnout a bit, Simmons said, but organizers plan to hold the event again next year.

“We've practically accomplished in one day the kind of work that covers about a year's worth of work, and this will help provide the people who enjoy our river with a nice, clean way to start enjoying the spring weather,” he said.

The Earth-minded activities will continue this week with KFCB, which will hold a series of tours and activities at the Coal Mountain Recycling Convenience Center.

Wright said she lead two groups of Daisy Girl Scouts through the center on Monday, and expects to see many more residents, especially children, taking the tour to learn more about recycling this week.

“The normal customers coming through were excited and they liked seeing the kids," she said. "They were stopping and listening to some of the stuff I was saying. It was kind of neat.”

Most tours will take place on Friday, when one will leave every hour on the hour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Within Coal Mountain Park, several activities will take place throughout the day, from a dragonfly class for kids to a rain barrel course for adults.

“Come on out,” Wright said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Also on Friday, she said, anyone who visits one of the county’s three convenience centers will be entered to win a refurbished laptop, donated by the county’s partner in electronics recycling.

On April 30, KFCB will take part in the national Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup.

“In spring, that’s when people think of getting out and doing spring cleaning,” she said. “Now, [the cleanup] is more of a tradition than anything else.”

Volunteer groups will meet in the big red barn at the Cumming Fairgrounds for a brief rally and to pick up supplies.  

Groups will then set out throughout the county to clean as many roads as possible in two hours.

During the 2010 Great American Cleanup event, 227 volunteers removed 365 bags of trash from 14 different locations in the county.