April 2009

Keeping the Valley beautiful

Watershed Teams and Earth Day celebrations are natural partners


From left, Keri Chartrand, watershed representative for the Little Tennessee Watershed Team, is joined by Cathy Rhodes, executive director of the Little River Watershed Association, and Charlene DeSha, executive director of Keep Blount Beautiful, in gathering trash on Fort Loudoun Reservoir in Blount County. More than 400 volunteers are scheduled to support clean up efforts at the Blount County Round Up on April 25.

It’s springtime on the Little Tennessee River watershed, and some people are planning summer vacations. But Keri Chartrand is busy planning Earth Day activities and reservoir clean-up opportunities.

“Spring is the best time for us to engage our partners in community projects,” says Chartrand, a watershed representative for the Little Tennessee Watershed Team. “Everyone looks forward to being outside, and since the water levels are lower, we can collect more trash and get the reservoir ready for summer recreation.”

One of the biggest activities in Chartrand’s area is the Blount County Round Up. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, April 25, when more than 400 volunteers will converge on the Little River in Blount County to remove litter and debris from the banks and the roadsides, stencil storm drains and restore stream buffers. Since the event started in 1999, TVA has provided trash bags and gloves for all the volunteers, who have removed more than 54 tons of trash and litter.

The Little River Watershed Association and Keep Blount Beautiful work closely with TVA on this event. “Events like these are one of our best opportunities to educate children and families about water and energy conservation, and they will continue these activities long after Earth Day is over,” Chartrand says.

In addition to watershed teams, other TVA organizations across the Valley are participating in numerous Earth Day activities (see box below).



Regional Earth Day Events

April 18
Hays Nature Preserve Earth Day Celebration (Huntsville)
Earth Day Festival (Nashville) EarthFest (Knoxville)

April 19
Down to Earth (Memphis)
April 22 Earth Day (Hopkinsville)

April 25
Blount Co. Earth Round Up (Alcoa/Maryville)
Shoals Earth Day (Florence)
Earth Day Celebration (Murfreesboro)