Partnering Together For A Cleaner Tennessee Valley

Monday, June 25, 2018 - by TVA Newsroom

Planning to host a river or reservoir cleanup effort? TVA can help with up to $5,000 in funds to cover trash bags, gloves, litter grabbers, dumpster rentals, safety items, first-aid kits, refreshments, boat rentals and more. 

You wouldn’t believe the things you can find at the bottom of a lake, but Lenny Peterson could tell you a tale or two. He’s fetched up vacuum cleaners (yes, multiples), a garbage disposal and even a picnic table from the depths of Boone Lake. 

Mr. Peterson is passionate about keeping the lake clean and volunteers at TVA sponsored cleanups at Boone’s Rockingham Marina each year. By lunchtime, the volunteers at Rockingham have typically already filled one large dumpster with such eye-popping debris.

But Mr. Peterson knows they could do more. Each year he brings more family members to help. This year, he recruited his wife, daughter and two grandchildren. 

“The Boone Lake cleanup provides an opportunity to lead by example,” says Mr. Peterson. “Cleaning up the lake shows the importance of good stewardship. It helps the next generation to understand proper disposal of wastes, and they get to see a caring community.”

Partners in Stewardship
Martha Podren manages TVA’s Reservoir and Community Cleanup Fund which supports clean up efforts in the TVA service area. “Many volunteers continue supporting clean up efforts in their community following these type of events,” she says. “Lenny is one a great example—he and his family have volunteered with the Boone Lake Association Clean Up for three years in a row. That’s dedication.”

TVA Natural Resources offers assistance through the RCC fund to non-profit organizations seeking to do cleanups within the TVA service area. These funds cover the cost of supplies such as trash bags, gloves, litter grabbers, dumpster rentals, safety items and first-aid kits for volunteers. Other incidentals may also be covered including food, (non-alcoholic) drinks for volunteers during the cleanup event, publicity and/or rental of boats specifically for use during the cleanup.

“We’ve seen a growing interest in our RCC program and we’re proud to partner with organizations in communities across the Valley to make a difference,” says Ms. Podren. “In 2017, we provided $155,000 to 68 organizations to support cleanup efforts.”

Requests should be submitted on letterhead detailing the name, date, and location of the event with an itemized list of supplies for purchase and the total amount requested. The request should include contact information, including mailing address and the group’s IRS EIN (Tax ID) number. Once requests are approved, groups sign a simple letter of agreement with TVA. 

Funds are limited and there is a $5,000 limit per year, per organization from the RCC fund. Requests should be sent to RCC Program Manager Martha Podren at communitysupport@tva.gov.

Seeing Results
Over 230 tons of trash were removed from the Tennessee River last year with the Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful and the RCC. Some of the other organizations TVA has partnered with include: Keep the Shoals Beautiful, Ijams Nature Center, Emory River Watershed Association, Haywood Waterways Association, Clean Memphis, Keep Blount County Beautiful, Keep Bristol Beautiful, Cumberland River Compact, Harpeth Conservancy, Boone Lake Association, Cherokee Lake Association, Flint River Conservation Association, Upper Tennessee River Roundtable and Friends of T.O. Fuller State Park.

 “Seeing the results from a cleanup helps define its success, and keeps people coming back to do it again,” says Ms. Podren. 

Partners receiving funding are asked to share statistics about the cleanup, including how many volunteers participated and how much trash was collected. Photos from the event and links to social media or other media coverage should also be shared so that TVA can help tell the story of the difference volunteers are making for a cleaner Valley.



Early Teal Season Opens Sept. 8 In Georgia

Early teal season is the first opportunity of the year for waterfowl hunters to get out in the field, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. This year, early teal season is  Sept. 8-23,  with a daily limit of six teal.    “Scouting is very important during early teal season,” said State Waterfowl Biologist ... (click for more)

Squirrel Season Opens Aug. 15 In Georgia

Squirrel hunting provides the perfect opportunity to introduce someone to the sport of hunting, and the first opportunity of the year to start replenishing that meat in the freezer, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. Unlike some big game hunts, the pursuit of bushytails often involves more action for energetic youth, providing ... (click for more)

NAACP Wants Answers On Snafu That Caused 43 Ballots Not To Be Counted In Recent Hamilton County Election

Officials of the NAACP said they have "grave concerns" about an election snafu in Hamilton County that left the ballots of 43 voters uncounted in the Aug. 2 election. The group said there has been little information given on the complex problem involving an earlier shift in voter lines. They have written a letter to Mark Goins, state election coordinator, and Kerry Steelman, ... (click for more)

Hearing Delay On Suit Brought By State Democrats To Keep Robin Smith Off Ballot

A hearing has been delayed on a lawsuit brought by the Tennessee Democratic Party seeking to keep Republican Robin Smith off the ballot in House District 26. Ms. Smith was the only candidate after longtime Rep. Gerald McCormick abruptly announced he was leaving his post to move to Nashville. Chancellor Jeff Atherton on Monday afternoon said he could not take the case until ... (click for more)

Make One Of The Proposed Surplus City Buildings Into A Local History Museum - And Response

The city of Chattanooga currently has no history center or museum. That is because several years ago it was conveyed to the public, in the blinking of an eye, that $9 million that had been raised mysteriously vanished for reasons unexplainable to this date. In the meantime, valuable artifacts and collections are sitting in cellars, basements and storage facilities instead of being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: No Cell Phones Allowed

There was a time, not so long ago, when school-aged children would learn lessons from a prescribed text, such as a textbook. Today texting is far, far different and, as any of our teachers will tell us, cell phones have become the scourge of education. In almost every classroom, kids will silently text in the shadow of the desk in front of them rather than focus on the lesson. Yet ... (click for more)