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Keeping Tucker's Lakes, Creeks and Rivers Alive

If we don’t embrace Georgia’s “Rivers Alive” initiative, Tucker’s lakes and creeks may die.

Have you ever experienced a waterway cleanup? It’s quite entertaining, I must say. Expect the obvious - you’ll get wet and dirty climbing down creek beds and sloshing around steams, but you also may experience the unexpected.

You may find hundreds of dollars worth of stainless steel as we did during last year’s Rivers Alive cleanup.

You may pull out a 1920s Orange Crush glass bottle from deep down in the silt of the river bed. I now have an old “OC Beverage” bottle gracing my home, with the patent date of July 20, 1920 embossed right into the bottle itself. They sure don’t make things like they used to. The glass itself weighs 1.2 pounds (yes, I weighed it, and second sourced it with a 2nd weigh-in, my poor husband.)

But, most importantly, you may also surprise yourself with that gritty, giddy feeling of satisfaction you typically feel after a good workout.

Last year’s Tucker cleanup was one of the largest in the state, with 15,400 pounds of garbage and 800 pounds of recyclables removed from ¼ mile stretch of South Fork Peachtree Creek. Whaaaaa? And we wonder if waterway cleanups are necessary…

By the way, the 100’s of dollars worth of steel we found went towards the purchase of water, food and services needed to put on a cleanup of this magnitude.

The Tucker Civic Association has hosted three Rivers Alive cleanups, with this year’s scheduled for Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. - 12 noon.

We accomplish great feats and acts of heroism with our Army of Soldiers - school kids, boy scouts, girl scouts, and church groups.

These dedicated cadets are becoming old vets, with many returning year after year to help make Tucker a better place to live, work, and swim.

We’ll be cleaning up Twin Brothers Lakes at the historic Johns Homestead property off Lawrenceville Hwy.

This incredible piece of property has two lakes, a dam, wetlands with wildlife, beaver, blue herons, hawks, Canadian geese, and all kinds of fish species.

For years back in the day people paid a small fee to fish these waters, but as of late, the property has tragically gone downhill with few visitors and old garbage left to rot.

It’s time to clean up.

If you own a kayak or row boat, even better. The bulk of the water clean-up this year will involve boaters scooping garbage out of the lake bed, with side liners grabbing and separating the debris.

If you don’t want to get wet, no worries, there’s enough trash left from fisherman and partiers all around the property.

We’ll have snacks and such for all your hard earned work.

I hope to turn this into a history lesson of sorts, and include an educational talk about DeKalb County and Johns Homestead. Built in the 1820s, the homestead is considered one of the longest continually occupied structures in DeKalb County. Vagrants from time to time now occupy this cultural piece of history, and it’s our duty to turn the tide and work towards making improvements, starting with the land around the homestead.

The county as well as the Tucker community has plans in the works to make some serious improvements to this 47-acre piece of property. It’s a perfect location for a nature preserve, hiking trails, and bird-watching.

Who knows, if we play our cards right, work with the county, and help raise funds, we could end up with a new county museum and nature park, featuring the Johns family homestead as an educational centerpiece.

Goals are good. Let’s start by rolling up our sleeves. See you in the lake!

Please email me at Parks@TuckerCivic.org if you’re interested in helping, or would like to organize a volunteer group.

Mark your calendar! Our first Rivers Alive Organizational meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 9th, 2011, 7:30 p.m., at the Tucker Rec Center, 4898 LaVista Rd., Room #7. Please join us and bring friends.

beth August 05, 2011 at 09:37 PM
This is such a beautiful property. It really is a hidden gem. I am looking forward to the upcoming clean up!
Anita August 08, 2011 at 09:13 PM
Enjoyed this article, Pam! Yes, this property is truly a "hidden gem" here in Tucker, as Beth mentioned. Looking forward to the October waterway cleanup at this location! ***Volunteers needed to help with "behind the scenes" planning stuff....we need you!!****

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