News 12 This Morning, April 2, 2009
AUGUSTA, Ga. --- It's a work in progress. Cleaning up the Augusta Canal, Savannah River, Aqueduct Park, and Lake Olmstead.
"I mean I throw stuff in my bags so fast, I don't even look at it. The main thing I'm trying to get is the glass, because the glass will really hurt people," Volunteer, Michael Griffin said.
This past Saturday, volunteers collected more than 70 garbage bags filled with trash from the Augusta Canal between 13th to 15th Street.
Former Augusta Commissioner Andy Cheek volunteers with the First Saturday Crew, and says it's a lot of hard work.
"It's a labor of love. All of us love the waterways that we have locally. They're nationally historically significant. We love uncovering things, but I think the biggest thing is all of us share the idea that we want to leave it better than we found it," Andy Cheek said.
Cheek says they've made tremendous progress. Last month, the First Saturday Crew expanded into North Augusta, where they've been working at Brick Pond Park.
"If you're going to bring your friends from all over the world, don't you want to bring them to a pristine ooh ah location, rather than eww look at that," Griffin said.
And as we approach Masters week, the crew has been working on areas in the gateways and intersections of the city that will be visited by thousands of people from all over the world.
"For Masters Week, for Augusta it's the biggest week of the year. And we're going to do our best to help make it look as pretty as possible," Cheek said.
The First Saturday Crew says their goal is for more hands to work across the river to beautify both Augusta and North Augusta, making it a better place to live.
Cheek says the Augusta Canal will remain empty past Masters week.