Boone Lake property owners, businesses and boaters were shocked to learn in 2015 that repair of a leak in Boone Dam found in October 2014 would cause water levels to be lowered for up to seven years.
As boats were left high and dry, some businesses closed permanently and trees began growing on what used to be the lake bottom. But the Tennessee Valley Authority finished the work a year sooner than expected, and this summer Boone Lake will again be at full pool. As the lake continues to refill, an expected issue has developed: debris and trash, tree limbs and other flora covering lake surface and bottom.
Every year the Boone Lake Association conducts a one-day cleanup of the lake by hundreds of volunteers, but this year’s effort will be especially demanding and important, and your help is needed.
The 22nd annual Boone Lake Cleanup is April 24 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. with six trash collection sites. Trash from the cleanup can be dropped off at Boone Lake Marina, Davis Marina, TVA’s new Boone Beach boat ramp, Bluff City boat ramp, Pickens Bridge boat ramp near Jay’s Dock, and the Route 11-E boat ramp near Winged Deer Park.
Participants will get a ticket for each bag of trash collected and a wristband for access to an after-cleanup picnic at Winged Deer Park at 4 p.m. The picnic will include music by Boone Lake Trash and food served in individual containers provided by one of the event’s sponsors, Food City.
A cash prize drawing will be held at 5 p.m., and entrants must be present to win. Bring a chair to socially distance at the picnic. There’s no guarantee, but homeowners unable to help with the event can ask for volunteers to help clear trash or stack branches and logs on their lakefront shorelines in advance of the rising waters. Homeowners can make the request at one of the six collection sites.
Volunteers may choose their location to work instead of foraging on shorelines. They may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with name, address, phone number, description of the work requested, and the closest trash collection site.
The association also needs locations to send cleanup participants to collect trash. Lakefront owners in an area where trash could be collected and willing to give the Boone Lake Association permission to access the waterfront from the property may also send an email describing their location, address, phone number and where the trash is located.
Information is available at boonelakeassociation.org/events/boone-lake-clean-up. You may register and receive trash bags to fill beginning at 9 a.m. The effort this year will involve more collection sites since water levels will allow boats to reach more areas.
The cleanup is always a fun day and one that provides a valuable public service. Will you participate?