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Great Duck Race part of Rivers Alive
by Joan Durbin
September 12, 2012 05:47 PM | 2368 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
One of Roswell’s defining elements is the Chattahoochee River, which forms the city’s southern boundary.

For years, one of Keep Roswell Beautiful’s top priorities has been maintaining the waterway’s natural beauty by holding an all-out clean-up once a year.

Part of Rivers Alive, Georgia’s annual river clean-up, this year’s event is Sept. 27. And volunteers are encouraged to sign up now, because those who procrastinate might not get a chance to pitch in and then enjoy the after party.

“For the first time ever, we may have to cut off the volunteer list at 300,” said Janet Liberman, Roswell’s environmental programs manager and executive director of Keep Roswell Beautiful.

“Turnout pretty much increases every year and we love that. But the volunteers have done such a great job in past years that now we may have more volunteers than we have trash. We never want to turn away volunteers, but we hate it when after sending a group out, they come back with one bag 20 minutes later, ask where they can go next and we don’t have anywhere to send them.”

To Liberman, the good news is that the public may finally be getting the message about not leaving trash behind them when they are near the river. But there may be some surprises in store if conditions allow trash collection from watercraft.

“It’s been awhile since we’ve had volunteers out on the river. We’re hoping this year the weather holds up and the water quality is good so we can use canoes from the Chattahoochee Nature Center,” she said. Participants who own a canoe or kayak also are encouraged to bring them to the clean-up. In addition to Keep Roswell Beautiful, Rivers Alive in north Fulton is sponsored by the city of Roswell, the Chattahoochee Nature Center, the city of Alpharetta and the Alpharetta Natural Resources Commission.

The clean-up will take place from 8:30 to 11 a.m. followed by a cookout at 11:30 a.m. at Riverside Park. The event will be held rain or shine.

Volunteers also are need for the removal of privet, an invasive plant species, at Riverside Park and Chattahoochee Nature Center, as well as litter pick ups in surrounding areas.

The fun moves from the Riverside Park cookout to Big Creek on Oxbo Road at 12:45 p.m., when up to 1,000 pink, yellow and blue plastic ducks will start bobbing and weaving their way through the ripples to a finish line 150 yards down the creek.

Ducks are rented for $3 each or three for $5 for the annual Great Duck Race, with the proceeds benefitting Keep Roswell Beautiful.Each of the ducks is numbered, and the “owner” of the winners will get cash prizes, $100 for first place and $50 for second. A third place duck will be chosen in case one of the first two winners does not claim their prize. Renters do not have to be present to win, but they have to claim their prizes within 48 hours after they are notified.

Ducks can be rented at Alive After 5 on Sept. 20 or from Liberman at Roswell City Hall, 38 Hill Street, in Suite 235.

For more information, go to

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