Community cleanup
Rivers Alive works to beautify waters

COVINGTON - Newton County residents are once again invited to participate in Rivers Alive, the state's largest volunteer effort to beautify Georgia's waterways.

This year's local event will take place Oct. 18, with volunteers gathering at 8 a.m. on the Square in Covington, where they will split into teams and head to local rivers and tributaries to clean along the banks. Groups will be assigned to access points along the Alcovy, South and Yellow rivers. Volunteers should wear appropriate shoes and long pants and prepare to get wet.

After several hours of cleaning, volunteers will gather at the Georgia Wildlife Federation at 11600 Hazelbrand Road at noon for lunch and educational activities.

The cleanup is a collaborative event between Keep Covington-Newton Beautiful and the Georgia Wildlife Federation.

"We appreciate the great turnout of volunteers we had last year, and we hope to see them again on Oct. 18, along with several new faces," said Robert Phillips, volunteer coordinator with the Wildlife Federation.

The city of Covington and the Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority are sponsoring the event, providing breakfast, lunch and T-shirts to volunteers.

For more information, call Keep Covington-Newton Beautiful at 770-784-2015 or e-mail newtonclean@co.newton.ga.us.

On the state level, the event is sponsored by The Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Adopt-A-Stream Program and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Keep Georgia Beautiful Program.

During the 2007 cleanup, more than 25,000 volunteers cleaned 2,310 miles of waterways, removing nearly 750,000 pounds of trash, according to Harold Harbert, outreach coordinator with the Environmental Protection Division.

For more information, visit www.riversalive.org.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.

SideBar: Yellow River Jam returns for its second year of fun

By Alice Queen

Executive Editor

PORTERDALE - Yellow River Jam, Porterdale's signature event, returns Saturday for the second year in a row with music, food, crafts and fun for all.

In conjunction with the Yellow River Jam, the city will be sponsoring a Rivers Alive cleanup of the Yellow River. Volunteers for the cleanup should gather at Crowell Pavilion at 8:30 a.m. to get supplies and instructions. Volunteers will be served pastries and coffee and given a T-shirt for their participation.

Although the cleanup isn't slated to end until noon, Sandy Fowler, Better Hometown manager for Porterdale, said the River Jam will kick off at 10 a.m. in the downtown district. Bands will be set up outside the Porterdale Historic Depot, as well as near Smiley's restaurant on Broad Street, in the alley and near Jimbo's Grill at the Mill next door to the Porterdale Mill Lofts.

Fowler said mostly local bands will be performing and will represent a variety of musical genres. Bands scheduled to perform include The Lemonsqueezers, Life Church Praise Team, jazz musician Sean Shuffler, The Hays Band and Steel Horses.

Hemlock Street will be blocked off for use by food, arts and crafts vendors, Fowler said, and there will be activities for the children, as well.

"We've had a really good response from the vendors," Fowler said.

The festival lasts from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. and there is no admission charge, Fowler said.

Alice Queen can be reached at alice.queen@rockdalecitizen.com.