By Shaun Szkolnik
For The Tribune
TRUSSVILLE – Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will have a great opportunity to give back to the community by helping a trail and riverbank cleanup on Saturday, Jan. 12.
A registration area will be set up in the parking lot behind the ball fields and the cleanup will commence at 10 a.m., however volunteers interested in pre-event refreshments are encouraged to arrive a little earlier.
Trussville resident Jean Cox has set up the event in which volunteers will be able to enjoy a day outside and do some good while they’re at it.
“We will be working in the woods between river bend/pump house road and the Cahaba,
covering everything from the trail head beside the Senior Center all the way to the woods behind the tennis courts,” Cox said. “We will have registration set up in the parking lot behind the baseball fields.”
This time of year is perfect for getting to all sorts of litter that is not accessible during the spring and the summer.
“The area that we will be cleaning up is part of a really beautiful trail system,” Cox said. “During the summer when all of the undergrowth and grass is high and green, you would never imagine there’s trash and garbage littering the woods near the trails. The majority of the litter has been brought in when the Cahaba floods. There are several areas that we will be focusing on that are at the base of ravines, in stream beds or near bends in the river. When floodwaters wash in, trash settles in these pockets. There are also a few places in these woods where garbage was dumped many years ago. The volunteers that will be working on the 12th will also be asked to flag large debris such as tires or barrels. On the following Monday, I will have a small group of volunteers from the Home Depot and Oldcastle Retail coming out to remove the heavier debris.”
Cox has received a lot of support from the community for this project.
“I have been overwhelmed by the support and generosity of everyone I have reached out to for support,” Cox said. “The Cahaba River Society is helping promote the event on their social media and they will be sending out volunteers. The Trussville Parks and Rec Department is supporting the event. The Trussville Home Depot has donated buckets, gloves, bags and other materials needed for the event. We will have coffee and treats provided by Great Harvest Bread. Slag Heap Brewery is also supporting the event. Everyone I have asked for help has jumped on board!”
The event is open to all volunteers, although some areas needing attention will be more difficult to attend to than others.
“Anyone can volunteer,” Cox said. “There will be harder areas to tackle, like the river banks and hillsides (for the super fit or adventurous volunteers). There will also be easier road side areas and flat trails for people with kids to work on. I would love to have a volunteer to help with registration as well.”
For Cox, this project is a personal one.
“This is important because the Cahaba is the heart of our town and we should make sure that our stretch of riverbank is pristine,” Cox said. “We should also take pride in our fabulous trail system and come together to make sure it is clean and lovely for everyone that visits it.”