The Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service invites volunteers to participate in a Caney Bayou cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Aug. 8, at White Hall. Participants will check in at the White Hall City Park across from the library.
Gloves, water and T-shirts will be provided to volunteers.
“It will be a fun-filled day of citizen-science and community appreciation as Arkansas residents work to remove litter and trash from the city,” according to a news release.
“Illegal dumping and littering is a big focus for White Hall and surrounding cities this year with ‘Go Forward with Clean Water’ as their theme. Keeping litter out of the storm drain protects the lakes, streams, and bayous from pollution that can have harmful effects on plant, animal, and human health,” according to the release.
The Caney Bayou is a tributary to the Arkansas River and many wildlife species rely on the bayou for food, water and habitat, according to the release.
“Mayor Noel Foster of White Hall has been exceptionally diligent in his efforts to keep litter out of the city by tasking his employees with picking up trash around the park, city streets, and interstate every day,” according to the release.
”White Hall struggles with litter just like any other city. It takes many man hours to keep up with it,” Foster said in the release.
People driving by the White Hall exit on Interstate 530 will be less inclined to stop in the city if there is trash along the road and this takes away from tourism and money for local businesses, he said.
Christine Cooley is an Extension stormwater agent for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service is part of the U of A division.
“Because the mayor does such a great job of working on picking up litter, I anticipate that a lot of what volunteers will be picking up during the event will be micro-trash,” Cooley said. “Micro-trash is just as important to keep out of the Caney Bayou watershed as large trash. This small surface debris like cigarette butts and bottle caps can be mistaken as food and consumed by fish and birds which can threaten their overall behavior, health and existence.”
Southeast Arkansas Stormwater Education and its partners Keep Arkansas Beautiful, Arkansas Game and Fish, and the City of White Hall will be working with the public to educate them on the importance of water quality and how keeping pollutants, such as litter and trash, out of the stormwater can provide a healthy and enjoyable environment.
“Residents are encouraged to take pride in their state and community by joining in on the effort to remove litter and keep White Hall clean and green,” according to the release.
Details: Christine Cooley, firstname.lastname@example.org, 870-534-1033 or www.uaex.edu.