In what has become an annual collaboration, Carson Newman University and Cherokee Lake Users hosted a late fall clean-up of Cherokee Lake on November 4, 2017 on a cool, foggy morning. This a partnership that advances the student’s requirement for community service and their knowledge of the rich cultural heritage and biodiversity found in the watershed.
Cherokee Lake Users Group is a 501c3 organization made up of members living in Grainger, Hamblen, Hawkins, and Jefferson Counties, TN. The group has one primary mission- preserving the quality of water. Cherokee Lake is a popular destination for tourism, fishing, and retirees. It is also surrounded by farm land that is an important economic sector for the counties. The pressures of “loving” the lake are a risk to both the quality of the lake and the pristine public lands. Two times per year, the group organizes shoreline and island clean-ups to remove debris that is either left behind by people or is washed into the lake through tributaries, adjacent roads, and illegal dumping.
CLUA Organizer, Donna Dunn recognizes the generosity of the event supporters, “Cherokee Lake Users Association cannot continue without its members and community support. I do not want to think what this lake would look like if this association was not around to advocate and work with TVA and the marinas.”
Carson Newman teacher, Greg Hover, made a wonderful remark “In life, school or business you don’t want others to be cleaning up after you. The lake is free, beautiful land that we all need to have OWNERSHIP.” Students were in agreement. Of the 30 plus students that joined the CLUA team at Huff’s German Creek Marina, most were young people who lived in the surrounding communities, but had not spent much time of Cherokee Lake. They were amazed at the trash they found on the islands and shared their ideas on ways that would help educate people to “Leave No Trace.”
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