By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Launch of Great Gwinnett Wetlands Rescheduled to May 2
Original Event Date of April 25 Postponed Due to Rainy Forecast as Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Teams up with Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources to Kick-off Water Stewardship Program at Bromolow Creek and Wetlands 

DULUTH, Ga. – While Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful (GCB) had planned to kickoff the new Gwinnett Great Wetlands water stewardship program in conjunction with Earth Week, it’s apparent that Mother Nature has other plans.

With forecasts calling for a 90% chance of rain in Duluth and a high likelihood for thunderstorms, the community-based, environmentally focused non-profit organization has opted to reschedule the original event date of Saturday, April 25 to a new date of Saturday, May 2.

“Given the fact that much of the Great Gwinnett Wetlands kick-off event will be centered around the waters of  Bromolow Creek and Wetlands, we thought it best to err on the side of caution for the safety of our volunteers,” explained GCB Executive Director, Connie Wiggins. “As of right now, the forecast for May 2 calls for sunny skies, so it will be a great day for Gwinnettians to come out, learn more about becoming stewards of  Gwinnett County’s extensive network of wetlands and water sources, and beautify an area that’s central to our county. Not to mention the fact that the new date coincides with the beginning of Water Professionals Appreciation Week – I love the idea of concerned citizens and Gwinnett’s water professionals working side-by-side to make a positive impact that day.”

The rescheduled event to launch Great Gwinnett Wetlands marks an ongoing partnership between GCB and Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources. Great Gwinnett Wetlands will encompass a number of educational and action-based initiatives designed to foster and empower a new generation of environmental stewards. 

“While this initial event will include action-based endeavors designed to protect Bromolow Creek and Wetlands, the bigger picture of the overall program is to educate and motivate the people of Gwinnett to become part of a growing network of community-based stewards,” said Wiggins. “In keeping with our mission for 2015, we hope to promote awareness of the wetlands that funnel into our streams, rivers and lakes, while creating a sense of ownership and collective responsibility among our citizens. It’s vital that we all work together to protect and maintain these wetlands and precious water sources like the Chattahoochee River, Yellow River and Lake Lanier. They not only serve as terrific recreational destinations for swimming, boating and fishing, but they also provide drinking water to millions of people throughout Gwinnett and further downstream. We are extremely excited about the promise this program holds.” 

Longtime GCB supporters and aspiring environmental stewards are invited to volunteer for the Great Gwinnett Wetlands stewardship project on Saturday, May 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Throughout the day, there will be plenty of opportunities for hands on learning so participants will feel empowered to create their own water stewardship projects. The event will also include beautification efforts, as well as monitoring the health of the stream to gauge the effectiveness of this and future stewardship projects. Volunteer groups will consist of:

Stream Pickers – Rain washes trash and litter to the stream, where they collect along the banks. Stream Pickers will help clean up the stream bank to help keep Gwinnett a place where people want to live, work and play.

Wetland Restorers – Wetlands store water from heavy rains in the ground. Wetland Restorers have the important task of helping preserve this important natural resource, while protecting Gwinnett from potential flooding.

Invader Warriors – Not all plants are good for the environment OR Gwinnett’s wetlands. Invader Warriors will learn how to identify some plants that invade the natural world and aid in their removal.

Bug Detectives – Bug detectives will use the Leaf Pack Network method from the Stroud Water Research Center to help GCB analyze bugs that are found in packs of leaves and what their presence means to  the quality of the water. 

Bird Scouts – Different bird species can show us how well a habitat supports life. Volunteers are invited to join Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful and local bird club Southern Wings to identify which species are living in the wetland.

Soil Protectors – Rain and wind can cause litter and excess soil to move from nearby areas into Gwinnett’s streams and wetlands. Soil protectors will help protect Bromolow Creek and Wetlands by retaining soil on the land and keeping it out of the stream.

Individuals, families, companies, civic groups and school groups are asked to register at www.GwinnettCB.org where they can download Volunteer Registration Forms – which they will need to complete and bring with them to the inaugural Great Gwinnett Wetlands event on May 2. Volunteers will park at Aviation Institute of Maintenance at 2025 Satellite Pointe in Duluth before making their way over to Bromolow Creek no later than 9 a.m. Participants must be 14 years of age or older, and those under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Everyone is asked to wear long pants and t-shirts that they won’t mind getting dirty along with waterproof, close-toed shoes or sneakers. Gloves and trash bags will be supplied. As a thank you for their participation, all volunteers will receive a specially designed T-shirt to commemorate the event.

Beyond the Bromolow Creek and Wetlands stewardship project, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful plans to place more of an emphasis on its educational efforts to help make local citizens aware of the significant function wetlands serve in the overall health of the environment, as well as on the well-being of the people, plants and animals that live within that environment. By raising awareness about the Great Gwinnett Wetlands, the goal is that a growing number of individuals and groups will be inspired to play an active role in protecting Gwinnett’s wetlands and volunteer for other water-based programs such as Adopt A Stream and Stormwater Protectors. In the event that someone wishes to take part in a stream stewardship effort, but is unable to attend the Bromolow Creek event on May 2 – GCB encourages them to initiate their own water stewardship project. The nonprofit organization is even happy to help them locate the closest waterway by calling 770-822-5187 or sending an email to gwinnettcb@gwinnettcb.org.

About Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful:  Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Services, Inc. (GCB) is a Keep America Beautiful affiliate and award-winning 501(c)(3) charitable organization. It boasts an expansive community-based network dedicated to finding long-term solutions to environmental and quality of life issues through individual action. The organization is guided by a 55-member Citizens Advisory Board that represents all sectors of the Gwinnett County community. A nationally recognized leader in creating cleaner, greener and more livable communities throughout Gwinnett, GCB involves more than 100,000 volunteers annually to help prevent litter and graffiti, recycle and reduce waste, and increase environmental awareness. To learn more about Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful and its programs, aspiring environmental stewards are invited to visit www.GwinnettCB.org