This year’s Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake Clean-Up was deemed a success by organizers last week as they announced the monthlong event had more than double the participants than last year.
“We are very pleased with this year’s event,” said Lorie Smith, president of the Smith Mountain Lake Association, which was organized in partnership with the Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission and the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce.
There were 31 scheduled clean-up events and 211 registered participants, Smith said. Last year there were 10 scheduled events with 92 participants.
“I had no idea we would have that level of increase,” Smith said.
For the past two years, the event had lasted from May to September. Smith said the change to the month of May helped increase participation.
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Until 2016, Take Pride was a one-day only event held the first Saturday in May. Organizers expanded it to allow more people to participate and offer alternative times in case of inclement weather.
“We think we got it right this year,” Smith said of the switch to a monthlong event.
While the total amount of debris and trash removed from the lake this year has yet to be finalized, Smith said she expects it will be impressive. An official count is expected later this month.
Smith said the Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake Clean-up committee will build on the success of this year’s event when it begins planning for the 32nd annual event next year.