COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The banks along the Chattahoochee River are a lot cleaner after a major clean up campaign Saturday, Oct. 3.
Hundreds of volunteers pulled out their gloves and trash bags for the 21st annual Help the Hooch Watershed Cleanup.
It's one of the largest river clean-ups in the southeast. Volunteers removed trash, tires, furniture and other harmful items. There were several people hard at work on a stream at Lakebottom Park.
"There are so many people that run through the park. You have animals, fish and frogs and different things in the environment that are out here and if we don't preserve the environment then who's to say its going to be around any longer," said Faythe Pollard, CSU student.
"It's important for us to take care of the Chattahoochee on our end so that we are not making it worse for the people downstream of us," said Walker Rogers, Students for a Sustainable World.
Volunteers also cleaned up public parks, lakes and private properties.
With approximately 10,000 volunteers each year helping the Hooch by picking up trash throughout the Middle Chattahoochee Watershed, it is the largest cleanup event in the state of Georgia.
While much of the focus is on the Columbus/Phenix City/Fort Benning areas, the Middle Chattahoochee Watershed includes ten Georgia Counties (Quitman, Randolph, Chattahoochee, Clay, Harris, Talbot, Taylor, Marion, Webster, Stewart), and six Alabama Counties (Barbour, Bullock, Henry, Lee, Macon, Russell).
On Tuesday, Sept.1, 2015, Mayor Eddie Lowe of Phenix City and Mayor Teresa Tomlinson of Columbus both issued Proclamations declaring Oct. 2 and Oct. 3, 2015 "Help the Hooch Days" and acknowledging the contributions that the Chattahoochee River has made to the area in the past as well as the present.