Partnering Together For A Cleaner Tennessee Valley

Monday, June 25, 2018 - by TVA Newsroom

Planning to host a river or reservoir cleanup effort? TVA can help with up to $5,000 in funds to cover trash bags, gloves, litter grabbers, dumpster rentals, safety items, first-aid kits, refreshments, boat rentals and more. 

You wouldn’t believe the things you can find at the bottom of a lake, but Lenny Peterson could tell you a tale or two. He’s fetched up vacuum cleaners (yes, multiples), a garbage disposal and even a picnic table from the depths of Boone Lake. 

Mr. Peterson is passionate about keeping the lake clean and volunteers at TVA sponsored cleanups at Boone’s Rockingham Marina each year. By lunchtime, the volunteers at Rockingham have typically already filled one large dumpster with such eye-popping debris.

But Mr. Peterson knows they could do more. Each year he brings more family members to help. This year, he recruited his wife, daughter and two grandchildren. 

“The Boone Lake cleanup provides an opportunity to lead by example,” says Mr. Peterson. “Cleaning up the lake shows the importance of good stewardship. It helps the next generation to understand proper disposal of wastes, and they get to see a caring community.”

Partners in Stewardship
Martha Podren manages TVA’s Reservoir and Community Cleanup Fund which supports clean up efforts in the TVA service area. “Many volunteers continue supporting clean up efforts in their community following these type of events,” she says. “Lenny is one a great example—he and his family have volunteered with the Boone Lake Association Clean Up for three years in a row. That’s dedication.”

TVA Natural Resources offers assistance through the RCC fund to non-profit organizations seeking to do cleanups within the TVA service area. These funds cover the cost of supplies such as trash bags, gloves, litter grabbers, dumpster rentals, safety items and first-aid kits for volunteers. Other incidentals may also be covered including food, (non-alcoholic) drinks for volunteers during the cleanup event, publicity and/or rental of boats specifically for use during the cleanup.

“We’ve seen a growing interest in our RCC program and we’re proud to partner with organizations in communities across the Valley to make a difference,” says Ms. Podren. “In 2017, we provided $155,000 to 68 organizations to support cleanup efforts.”

Requests should be submitted on letterhead detailing the name, date, and location of the event with an itemized list of supplies for purchase and the total amount requested. The request should include contact information, including mailing address and the group’s IRS EIN (Tax ID) number. Once requests are approved, groups sign a simple letter of agreement with TVA. 

Funds are limited and there is a $5,000 limit per year, per organization from the RCC fund. Requests should be sent to RCC Program Manager Martha Podren at communitysupport@tva.gov.

Seeing Results
Over 230 tons of trash were removed from the Tennessee River last year with the Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful and the RCC. Some of the other organizations TVA has partnered with include: Keep the Shoals Beautiful, Ijams Nature Center, Emory River Watershed Association, Haywood Waterways Association, Clean Memphis, Keep Blount County Beautiful, Keep Bristol Beautiful, Cumberland River Compact, Harpeth Conservancy, Boone Lake Association, Cherokee Lake Association, Flint River Conservation Association, Upper Tennessee River Roundtable and Friends of T.O. Fuller State Park.

 “Seeing the results from a cleanup helps define its success, and keeps people coming back to do it again,” says Ms. Podren. 

Partners receiving funding are asked to share statistics about the cleanup, including how many volunteers participated and how much trash was collected. Photos from the event and links to social media or other media coverage should also be shared so that TVA can help tell the story of the difference volunteers are making for a cleaner Valley.



Research Continues To Be Conducted On Pygmy Rattlesnakes In Tennessee

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is once again assisting wildlife biologists at Tennessee State University in research to determine the distribution of pygmy rattlesnakes in Tennessee. The pygmy rattlesnake is listed as a threatened species in Tennessee and the research will help in conservation efforts to preserve the species in the state. Native to Tennessee, pygmy ... (click for more)

David Arnold Named State Forester And Assistant Commissioner For Forestry

Governor Bill Haslam and Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton announced on Thursday, the appointment of David Arnold as State Forester and Assistant Commissioner for Forestry. A 28-year veteran of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry, Mr. Arnold will assume the role  Aug. 1 .  “David has devoted his career to managing and protecting ... (click for more)

Kordarrius Murphy, 22, Shot On Bonny Oaks Drive Late Thursday Night

Kordarrius Murphy, 22, was shot late Thursday night on Bonny Oaks Drive.   The Chattanooga Police Department responded  at approximately  11:36 p.m.   to a report that a person had been shot. Officers were dispatched to a vehicle crash with injuries at 4200 Bonny Oaks Drive. At the same time, a shooting victim arrived at a local hospital in a private ... (click for more)

Chancellor Fleenor Sets Aug. 6 Hearing In Democratic Suit To Keep Robin Smith Off The Ballot; Ms. Smith Was Former Campaign Advisor To Judge

Hamilton County Chancellor Pam McNutt Fleenor has set a hearing for Aug. 6 at 1:30 p.m. on a lawsuit brought by the Tennessee Democratic Party seeking to keep former state GOP Chairman Robin Smith off the ballot. Ms. Smith was a campaign advisor for Ms. McNutt Fleenor when she ran for judge in 2014. Her Rivers Edge Alliance was paid $13,546.86 by the McNutt Fleenor campaign, ... (click for more)

Not My University: Why I’m Not Okay With Mike Pence Coming To Lee University - And Response (6)

As a student of Lee University, who is well-aware of the Lee administration’s more conservative stance in politics, I am upset about Mike Pence visiting the university and being welcomed on our campus. Although I respect that Pence is in a position of authority as our nation’s Vice President, and that he likewise deserves the right to hold his own opinions in regards to the issues ... (click for more)

Employee Who Stole From East Ridge Should Be Prosecuted

Why has the East Ridge employee who was fired for theft not been charged with theft?    City Manager Scott Miller made the statement that the employee had problems and that the stolen items were returned.  What does that have to do with the employee stealing ?   He has had a history of abuse of city resources. Why is he not being prosecuted? ... (click for more)