Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Issues Call for Volunteers for Great Gwinnett Wetlands 2021

Eco-Focused Nonprofit and Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources to Host Cleanup Event at a New Wetland Area – Bethesda Park – on Saturday, May 1

Lawrenceville, Ga. – April 23, 2021 – After hosting its annual Great Gwinnett Wetlands event at Bromolow Creek & Wetlands for the last six years, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful (GC&B) and its partners at Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources (DWR) are excited to tackle a new venue this year. The 7th Annual Great Gwinnett Wetlands event will be hosted at Bethesda Park in the wetlands that border Lawrenceville’s Sweetwater Creek on Saturday, May 1. To make this event as successful as years past, the eco-focused nonprofit is issuing a call for volunteers to help collect litter, remove invasive plants.

Taking on the characteristics of a distinct ecosystem, wetlands are “saturated lands” that act as sponges – collecting and storing excess water to help prevent flooding in local streams, rivers and lakes. The Great Gwinnett Wetlands program is designed to grow awareness and promote the ongoing stewardship of Gwinnett’s numerous wetlands to prevent a deterioration of their vitality through littering, which also harms water resources like the Chattahoochee River, Yellow River, Lake Lanier, Jackson Lake, and ultimately the near pristine Altamaha River.

“COVID-19 pushed last year’s Great Gwinnett Wetlands – which is typically hosted in the Spring – to November,” said Schelly Marlatt, Executive Director for Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful. “Having had an annual presence at Bromolow Creek & Wetlands, most recently just six months ago, we’ve witnessed a marked improvement at that site over the years. This is the ideal time for us to pull up stakes and move our operations to another wetland within our community – and Bethesda Park is the perfect spot to make a real impact on the physical beauty and health of the wetlands that surround the park and Sweetwater Creek. We need to work together to ensure this precious landscape remains a viable habitat for an abundance of wildlife and native plants. We are delighted to welcome an astounding 17 local environmental engineering firms to help us in our efforts.”

Engineering firms participating in this year’s Great Gwinnett Wetlands include AECOM, Hazen & Sawyer, Jacobs, Columbia Engineering, Precision Planning, Inc., CDM Smith, Prime Engineering, ESI Georgia, Blue Cypress Consulting, Dewberry, Freese and Nichols, Barge Design, Ardurra, Arcadis, SME, Inc., ATLAS, and HDR, Inc.

GC&B and DWR plan to have five teams fan out across the area to pick up trash and cut invasive privet that choke the health of the wetlands. Much of the area where the work will be performed is wet and muddy. Volunteers are asked to wear closed-toe shoes – preferably hiking boots or muck/rain boots – and clothes they won’t mind getting dirty. They should also be sure to bring a snack and water bottle to stay hydrated.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at Bethesda Park – located at 225 Bethesda Church Road Lawrenceville and the event is expected to conclude at 1 p.m. To sign on as a volunteer, please register at https://www.gwinnettcounty.com/web/gwinnett/Departments/CommunityServices/VolunteerGwinnett. If you have any questions, please email GC&B Program Coordinator, Stephanie Marquardt at smarquardt@gwinnettcb.org. To learn more about Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful and its programs, please visit www.gwinnettcb.org.

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