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Trash patrol: ‘Big Sweep’ needs volunteers

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.com
Big Sweep 2008 is going to be a really big job and organizers are hoping for a record turnout.
Heavy rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fay cleaned out parking lots, streams and fields throughout much of the Foothills and dumped the debris in High Rock Lake.
Big Sweep is set for Saturday, Sept. 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Everyone is welcome and organizers don’t expect a shortage of trash.
“We have an abundant supply of trash,” Bob Pendergrass said recently. Pendergrass, supervisor of the Nature Center at Dan Nicholas Park, headed up the Big Sweep effort for more than a decade.
Mike Lambert, assistant naturalist at the park, is now leading the effort and working to recruit Scout groups, school groups, seniors ó anyone who wants to spend a couple of hours helping clean up the edges of the lake.
Pendergrass said efforts will concentrate on an area off File Road that has a large quantity of trash.
“It will take quite an effort to make it look decent,” Pendergrass said.
But organizers are hopeful they’ll get enough volunteers to divide up and attack several areas of the lake.
“When it rains like this, everything comes down,” Pendergrass said Thursday, as the swollen waters of the Yadkin River flowed into High Rock. “We’re the first lake in the chain; everything washes in.”
Participation in the local Big Sweep has waned in recent years. Organizers hope to get a much larger turnout.
All trash pickup will be on the shore line.
Participants will pick up the debris and place it in trash bags.
Anyone wanting to participate should call Lambert in advance at 704-216-7833.
Big Sweep is a statewide event aimed at cleaning up waterways.

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