On a sunny, fall-like Wednesday afternoon in October, the Lake Wedowee Property Owners Association and all of their volunteers stopped for a meal at Rice Pavilion at Lake Wedowee. The 37 volunteers had just wrapped up another solid day of cleaning trash and other debris around the lake, as part of the “Renew Our Rivers” campaign, that has just wrapped up their 27th year.
Following the wonderful lunch of ham and cheese sandwiches, Brunswick stew, and cookies provided by WM Grocery; Sheila Smith, Bob May, as well as Marlon and Betty Glover, sat down for a discussion on how far the campaign has come over the last two decades, and how much the local community has helped the cause.
Today’s journey has improved since beginning in 1992, says Bob May, one of the organizers of “Renew our Rivers.” May says that the effort began with less than 10 people on one boat, and would last upwards of six days, from 8 AM to dark.
“We would spend two days just on one cove, it was a lot of work,” says May of the first lake cleanup. “I’d lose ten pounds in the week that we were doing it.”
Not only has the number of volunteers increased, but the amount of trash collected has dropped since the project began.
Marlon Glover told us that the number of refrigerators, washing machines, tires, and even stranger items such as bowling balls were alarming.
More volunteers began to come out, and the event became more organized and was then given the title of “the Tallapoosa Trashout,” says Sheila Smith of the Alabama Power Shorelines, who has also been a part of the efforts since the inception. Alabama Power then began to consolidate all 37 cleanup efforts into one campaign and became what it is known today as “Renew our Rivers” 19 years ago.
The Lake Wedowee version of “Renew our Rivers” has been called the most organized lake cleanup efforts in the state, and it all goes back to the volunteers.
In 2018, “Renew our Rivers” on Lake Wedowee averaged 36 volunteers per day, ranging from members of the Lake Wedowee Property Owners Association to community members who took a few vacation days to help out. Even the Randolph County High School fishing club sent members out to help with cleanup efforts.
The volunteering does not stop at just cleanup. Local restaurants and grocery stores have donated food and water to volunteers, and others have donated boats to provide transportation around the lake.
“This community is wonderful at donating,” says Betty Glover. Mrs. Glover took the time to thank Lakeside Marina, WM Grocery’s deli, and Crystal Barnes with Hunter Bend Realty for feeding the volunteers, in addition to Small Town Bank and Perryland Foods, who donated water and snacks respectively.
“Renew our Rivers” has also seen an abundance of boats donated to aid in cleanup efforts. Randy Morris at Wedowee Marine donated three boats, as well as gas; Alabama Power and other local donations had the number up to nine donated boats.
From humble beginnings filled with bologna sandwiches and six-day efforts to a growth in community involvement, “Renew our Rivers” is stronger than ever. Marlon, Betty, Bill, and Sheila all say that the event is more than just collecting trash and providing a better lake for residents and wildlife, it has become a fun experience full of memories and meeting others who share a love for our lake.
For more information on “Renew Our Rivers”, as well as everything going on with the Lake Wedowee Property Owners Association, visit www.lakewedoweepoa.com
As we move into the last stretch of the 2018 season, playoff pushes are becoming stronger than ever. So far, three of five local teams have qualified for the playoffs in their respective classes, with Handley and Woodland needing just one more region win to qualify. Each game is important, including the slate this week.
Randolph County (6-1, 4-1) at Saks (7-0, 5-0)
Jack Stewart Field- Saks
RCHS leads all-time series, 2-0
Last Time: RCHS 33 Saks 6 (1963)
Last Friday night was a little quieter than usual, with one team enjoying a night off, and another playing on Thursday night, only three local teams saw action. Each game, however, had playoff implications. How did each team pass their test?
Randolph County 53 Walter Wellborn 13
Wellborn entered their game with Randolph County as outsiders. With two region losses, a Panthers win would for sure shake up the already intense 3A Region 6. That wish did not come true for Wellborn, as they fell to RCHS on the road, 53-13.
Atario Hester led the way with three rushing touchdowns, and had a 100+ yard rushing day.
RCHS still controls their destiny in region seeding, and will be tested yet again this Friday with a road trip to region-leading Saks. A win over Saks would force a three-way tie for first place between those schools, and Piedmont.
Cleveland 49 Woodland 21
The Woodland Bobcats push for a playoff spot will have to wait one more week, as they fell to Cleveland, 49-21 on homecoming night.
Brock Edwards had three touchdown passes for Woodland.
The Bobcats, who entered the game needing to win two of their final three region games in order to qualify for the playoffs, are now in a "must-win" situation. A loss will end hopes of playoff contention. Woodland hits the road to face Westbrook Christian this Friday night.
Clay Central 40 St. Clair County 7
The Volunteers got back on track last Friday by defeating St. Clair County, 40-7. After sustaining two heartbreaking losses in a row due to special teams, it was good to see Clay Central pick up a win in their final home game of the season. The Vols took a 26-0 lead into halftime, and sealed the deal with two touchdowns in the 3rd quarter.
The next two games for Clay Central will decide their postseason fate, starting Friday with a rivalry road trip to Sylacauga. Currently, Clay Central and Sylacauga are in third and fourth place respectively in 5A Region 5. Center Point, the current second place team, will welcome Clay Central to town in two weeks.
Lincoln 30 Handley 12
Injuries and depth still plague the Handley Tigers as they fell to Lincoln on Thursday night. A crazy 4A Region 4 is still up in the air, but Handley will need to win their final two region games in order to solidify themselves a seat in the playoffs. Handley welcomes Leeds to town next week, and will travel to region-leader Talladega on October 26
There is zero doubt that residents of East Central Alabama and West Georgia love their lake. Lake Wedowee has been called one of the cleanest lakes in the state, and that speaks directly to the people who call this area home.
Each year, a group of volunteers meet at the Highway 48 bridge in front of Wedowee Marine South for a three-day cleanup of Lake Wedowee, led by the Lake Wedowee Property Owners Association and Alabama Power. This year, those dates will stretch from Wednesday, October 24 through Friday, October 26, from 8 A.M. until 1 P.M. central time.
"Renew our Rivers" has expanded over the years, as the number of volunteers has grown. Some residents even donate food and boats to aid in the efforts. Each year, local restaurants and grocery stores have provided lunch to volunteers, and locals have loaned their boats to the LWPOA to transport volunteers around the lake and to haul the collected trash.
Over the years, volunteers have collected everything from soda bottles and fast food sacks, to tires and bowling balls (yes, they actually float). Most of the trash collected has come from highway drivers and passengers who litter, however, the amount of trash has decreased each year.
If you are interested in volunteering in this year's "Renew our Rivers" cleanup, LWPOA will meet each day at the Highway 48 ramp, in front of Wedowee Marine South, at 8 A.M. central time. The LWPOA recommends wearing an old t-shirt, long pants, and boots, but also advises to check the weather each day and to dress accordingly. If you would like to provide lunch for volunteers, or to donate your boat for the cleanup, contact Sheila Smith, or Marlon and Betty Glover, their contact information is available on LakeWedoweePOA.com/our-mission. If you loan your boat to "Renew Our Rivers" for lake cleanup, the LWPOA will clean your boat prior to return.
“If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour.” — Victoria Erickson
Can y’all believe another lake season has come to an end? I can’t. It seems every year the season gets shorter and shorter. One of the best highlights of the season was Fireworks at Flat Rock. It was great to see so many people come together for a common purpose. It took a lot of work and money to pull off that event and we can’t wait to see what happens next year!
With summer over, lots of people have packed it in when it comes to the lake, but let me tell you...the fall is an amazing time to enjoy Lake Wedowee, especially when the lake level doesn’t drop to quick. The fall is a calmer laid back scene with fewer boats on the water... less noise and for sure less fireworks! (I mean really what is it with people on the lake LOVING to shoot fireworks! Regardless, we made it through another summer with a lifetime of memories and fishtales that will grow larger than life.
We still have a few months left to enjoy 2018, and then we have fantastic plans in the works for 2019. We hope you enjoy our look back on some special moments from Lake Wedowee this season and be sure to join us again real soon!
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Enjoy Life! Kelly
Inside This Issue
BY Jeremy Wortham
First off, this is not something to panic about, but something to be aware and cautious of.
You’re probably thinking, “here we go again. It’s another one of those gator stories”.
We’ve all heard the stories about alligators on Lake Wedowee, but whether you believe those stories or not is a discussion to be had for another day. But let me tell you about the crocodiles.
Yes, you read right… crocodiles!
Lake Wedowee is full of them. They cover miles of the lake, from the shorelines to the depths. At some point you may have spotted one or even several on the lake but may have never gave it much thought or attention. You may have spotted one floating down the river. You also probably crossed one or drove over one in the bends. And every once in a while you may see a good Samaritan wrestling to rope one so that it could be towed and tied off at the waters
While you’re enjoying your time at the lake, you need to be looking for these crocodiles ( or hazards ) that may exist. They come in all shapes and sizes and will show no mercy. Crocodiles are any potential water hazard. Some of the more common hazards are:
FLOATING DEBRIS; It’s common to see trees that may have blown over get washed down stream with other debris. Sometimes these bigger objects lurk just below the surface making them appear to be smaller than they are. So always scan the water ahead to ensure you don’t drive over a log or Crocodiles. Always be on the look out forFloating debris can be a hazard for boat motors and towables. Parts of Lake Wedowee have tree tops also known as stickups. Many are below the waters surface when the water is at full pool.
As the water level drops this fall, pay particular attention for stickups…pull a towable over something that could puncture your tube or even rider.
SHALLOW POINTS; there’s shallow points on the lake with some being marked by hazard buoys. You can find these shallow points in the bends of the lake but fair warning they can make their presence known in a split second on the depth finder.
OTHER BOATERS; Alabama requires state residents to take and pass a boating test prior to being able to operate a vessel or watercraft but doesn’t require out of state residents to have a boaters license to navigate a vessel on the water. I’m not saying that non licensed drivers are unsafer but it could raise the question on boating knowledge. Boats not using navigation lights while driving or anchored, boats using docking lights for running lights, boats crossing the wrong direction when meeting head on, among other things. Over the last year and a half there’s been 3 boating accidents on Lake Wedowee with 1 being alcohol related. That’s 3 boating accidents that were reported.
NO PFD’s; I was swimming at the lake one day this summer and I was swimming no more than 20 feet away from the boat when I had found myself exhausted in that short distance. This was unusual because I’ve been swimming regularly for the last 21 years and never had this problem. We tend to forget that at any given moment we can exceed our physical abilities such as how far we can swim or tread water, the possibilities of our bodies becoming fatigued and shutting down from exhaustion, cramping, black outs, heart attacks, and any other medical condition or natural event that could leave us vulnerable to a potential drowning. Over the last year and a half there’s been 7 drownings on Lake Wedowee. I encourage everyone to consider wearing a floatation device when entering the water. It’s better to have it on and not need it than need it and not have it on.
Remember, crocodiles are out there, some easily noticeable while others are lurking in disguise. Think safety! Look for what’s out of place or has changed since you have last been on the lake because things are always constantly changing. Currents may flow faster at certain times of the day, water levels may be higher or lower, holiday traffic brings more boat traffic which results in over populated areas and increased size in waves, a child may not be properly wearing their life jacket, an oncoming boater may be driving carelessly or not paying attention, or maybe there’s an issue with your boat or equipment that’s not working properly that could have been brought to your attention if you did a walk through.
Hopefully you’ve had a wonderful year thus far and thanks for being apart of our home that we call Lake Wedowee.
I wonder if there’s a boat behind him. Use common sense when operating in unexpected weather conditions, such as using your navigation lights and slower speeds when its foggy.
Life Jackets must be zipped and buckled to be worn.
Are You Looking For Santa K?
For many, many years and trips back and forth from the North Pole visiting places where I could have stayed I kept coming back to Lake Wedowee. I always have the best time here with my crew from the far north region and decided to make this our annual stay over, during our off season. Fishing, sunshine, friendly people, hospitality on & on I could go but Lake Wedowee is the place to be.
A typical day for Santa K at Lake Wedowee...First I am awakened by my Elf Alarm. I jump up with glee for a new day on the lake. I normally will have my hot cocoa, (not too hot, shaken not stirred and strong with chocolate.) Today I have some of my elves helping me at the secret reindeer barn. We must replace some of the oatmeal and carrot feeders, which I need wood and nails for. I always stop at Wedowee Building Supply for everything to build with. Of course, I know everyone there from delivering toys when they were children. Most of them were on the nice list but, of course not all of them. HO HO HO Joe and all the boys are so helpful with advise and great prices. They even have a special parking place for my sleigh.
We are so anxious to get to work but, I haven’t had my special coffee and morning delights yet so, we are off to Miss Amber’s Main Street Coffee Shop for that. They are always open early and I know we can have goodies and lots of coffee and be on our way. I always love smiling faces and I know Miss Amber will give me that. Since this is a work day, we are packing our lunches so, we won’t have to stop. I’ve been there many times in the past and I love WM grocery. Santa’s favorite is always the homemade chicken pot pies...mmmm good! We load up with all we need, most importantly the cookies, (of course) and they have plenty to choose from!
When I was out on my boat the last time I almost ran out of gas so, I stopped at Wedowee Marina at 48 bridge to gas up. It was so easy to to get in and out. They have so many beautiful new boats to look at, I almost didn’t leave. Randy and his staff at all locations are easy to work with, they remain on my nice list, (at least for now.) HO HO HO
I want to especially thank Wedowee Life Magazine for all their help in telling me about this wonderful community and all the great people. They have been family for Santa K and the elves since all of them were kids and I delivered toys to them. I am so excited about living and playing at Lake Wedowee during my off season. Remember, if you see me on the water I will always have my Santa K hat on. Wave to me and if i can, I will stop and give you a special card, (just for you!) Well, it’s work time and it’s hot so, let us get hammering.
See you soon Santa K
A Front Porch Re-do For A Tiny Home
By: Mary Lee Caldwell
This newly designed front porch tells a story of what you will find on the inside of this tiny lake home. When walking up to this home, the front porch immediately catches your eye. You see pops of color, natural beauty, and vintage farmhouse sense of style, and this is just a taste of what you will find when you open the front door. Here are a few tips for your own front porch transformation: Pick a porch focal point: As you can see from the before and after photos, the centerpiece of this transformation is adding a new front door from Jeld-Wen Windows & Doors available locally at Millworks Specialties in Heflin. Changing out the bland existing door for a new upgrade with a pop of color provides a focal point for the porch that is welcoming and full of cheer.
#TinyHomeMakeover #MaryLeeCaldwell #ilovemytinyhome #SunsetPoint
Big Style in Small Spaces with a Tiny Home Makeover
by Leisel Caldwell
Lake homes come in all sizes and price ranges, large custom-built homes, cabins, tiny homes, park model homes, RVs and campers. Our lake home is a park model home, we have owned for 13 years. We fell in love with our tiny home before tiny homes were cool! It has 1 bedroom, 1 bath, full kitchen, small living area and a large screened in porch.
After 13 years it was time for a tiny home makeover. The plan was to create a tranquil space, and multi-functional areas for entertaining and sleeping. This was a DIY project with my husband taking on the first step of converting the porch to a sunroom. The work included new windows being installed as well as beadboard and sheetrock walls, wood ceiling, and adding a heating and air unit. It was my turn next in picking out colors and painting. I picked out a neutral color pallet of burlap, tan and off whites and used painting techniques to create a unique look.
The focus then changed to furniture, space planning and sleeping areas. We needed to be frugal and use much of what we already owned. In our stash was an old futon frame and mattress.
The finishing touches to this part of our makeover are the art pieces for our newly renovated space. Jessica Bailey of Reclaimed Grace Art is a local artist with a lot of talent. She has a great flair for farmhouse chic, which is the look I was after for our tiny lake home. I called Jessica and ask her to look at our space. After our meeting, I commissioned her to do 4 pieces. She had them ready in approximately 4 weeks. Let me just say, she hit it out of the park matching my color pallet of drop cloth, burlap, brown and the beautiful blues. I could not be more pleased.
We have a way to go before we are finished with our tiny lake home makeover; the kitchen, the bathroom and bedroom. Stay tuned, same place, same magazine but not sure what issue!
Sponsors of this content include:
The Slip Cover Shop: http://www.SlipCoverShop.com
About this blog
The Lake Life blog is where we post and share information about the Lake Wedowee area. Digital issues of Lake Wedowee Life magazine can be found under Read It Online.
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