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Volunteers clear trash from shore
Don Bailey, Keep Forsyth County Beautiful board member, hands out T-shirts during Saturday’s shore sweep. - photo by Jennifer Sami

Tammy Wright and Kevin Smith were out before sunrise Saturday, but they weren’t alone.

Nearly 100 volunteers gathered that morning at Bald Ridge Marina as part of the Lake Lanier Association’s annual Shore Sweep.

Wright and Smith, who run Keep Forsyth County Beautiful, organized the local cleanup effort around the marina.

Local families, including those who live on Lanier, high school students and Boy and Girl Scouts were among those picking up trash.

Megan Hilton gathered a bottle and sock while joking with her fellow Girl Scouts that “you find the weirdest things down by the lake.”

That’s part of what draws high school students and other children to participate, Wright said.

“They don’t mind getting wet and dirty and they like the diversity of what you can find on the lake,” she said.

High school student Kelsey Morton and mother Carole also helped clean the lake Saturday.

While the cleanup earned Morton extra credit in her Advanced Placement environmental science class, it was “also something I wanted to do.”

Carole Morton said the activity was “important to keep our parks, rivers and lakes clean.”

“It’s a good opportunity to go out and meet people and to do it to help the community,” she said.

Holding 5-year-old daughter Avery, Peter Burkes said the event was a great way to teach her about the importance of being environmentally friendly.

“Kids don’t get to do this as much as they should,” said Burkes, a member of the Rotary Club of South Forsyth. “It’s just a good experience for her.”

Saturday marked the 24th anniversary of the Shore Sweep.

For Keep Forsyth County Beautiful, it was just the second time taking part because the group organizes many of its own cleanups throughout the year.

Wright described the sweep as great, adding that it’s “an easy event for us because it’s such a great partnership.”

“It’s sometimes a different audience because the Lake Lanier Association reaches a lot of people that live on the lake that don’t normally do our event but have volunteered because it’s a common interest,” she said.