Old Rope Mill Park will be the site of the annual Little River Clean-up on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Woodstock, organizers said.

The event happens each fall, with the first Little River Clean-up taking place in October, 2003.The event was created to clean and take care of the local river and surrounding area.

“We remove around a ton of trash each year and while it beautifies the park, we also use it as an educational tool,” City of Woodstock Assistant Director Jeremy Parker said. “What goes down the storm drain ends up in our waterways.”

The turnout of volunteers has increased significantly every year. More and more people come to clean the river and protect the environment.

“Last year we had 60 volunteers but have had over 100 volunteers in previous years,” Cherokee County Water and Sewer Authority information specialist Lori Forrester said. “This year we are expecting between 80 and 100 volunteers. I think so many people choose to volunteer for the clean-up because they enjoy the outdoors and a cleaner environment makes recreating more enjoyable.”

The event is hosted by the Cherokee County Water and Sewer Authority and organized through Rivers Alive, a program that supports clean-ups throughout Georgia. Rivers Alive provides T-shirts for volunteers, trash bags and educational materials.

Breakfast items, coffee, lunch, snacks and trash disposal will all be available for those in attendance through the Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority, City of Woodstock, City of Holly Springs and Upper Etowah River Alliance. Volunteers will need to bring their own water bottles.

Along with the river clean-up, there will also be activities involving the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream and the newly named EarthEcho Water Challenge (formerly the World Water Monitoring Challenge).

The Georgia Adopt-A-Stream is a volunteer water quality monitoring program with the goal of increasing public awareness, collecting quality baseline water quality data, gathering observations, encourage partnerships between citizens & local government and provide tools & training. Certification for volunteers include chemical monitoring, bacteria monitoring and macroinvertebrate monitoring.

The EarthEcho Water Challenge is an international program that runs annually from March 22 (the United Nations World Water Day) through December and equips anyone to protect the water resources we depend on every day. The EarthEcho Water Challenge builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies.

Volunteers in attendance will need to bring old shoes and clothes. Gloves will be provided, but heavy work gloves will be good for lifting heavier objects like tires.

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