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Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has brought back its Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest for 2014.

This year's theme is Plug into Nature, emphasizing the importance of experiencing wildlife and plants firsthand.

All Georgia students in grades kindergarten through 5 are invited to enter the contest. The top 12 winners' posters will be displayed on the DNR's Flickr site and at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry during the first two weeks in May.

Contest entries are due Apr. 16. Three winners will be picked in four categories (kindergarten, grades 1-2, grades 3-4, grade 5).

Visit georgiawildlife.com for more information about the contest.

GEMA: Georgians should prepare as hurricane season hurries in

GEMA: Georgians should prepare as hurricane season hurries in

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Emergency Management Agency stresses the importance of safety just before Hurricane Preparedness Week hits. 

During the week, May 26 - June 1, education will be offered to all residents through Georgia who plan to camp outdoors, throw cookouts and spend time at the lakes or in the backyard. Severe weather can make its way here anytime, a Ready Georgia spokeswoman said, which puts Georgians at risk statewide.

Recycle in Gwinnett Co. to ring in Earth Day

Recycle in Gwinnett Co. to ring in Earth Day

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- The Gwinnett County Solid Waste and Recovered Materials department is celebrating Earth Day on Saturday to help residents recycle during their spring cleaning.

From 9:00 - 11:00 that morning, a Gwinnett official said the department will collect old file papers, broken electronics, flat tires and paint cans on Coolray Field. 

For Earth Day, all paper will be shredded at no charge. Television sets will cost $10 each to recycle. There is a limit of eight tires per vehicle, and five one-gallon paint cans. The paint will be donated to Global Paint for Charity. The non-profit organization gives paint to developing countries all over the world.

Sweep the Hooch registration open

Sweep the Hooch registration open

ATLANTA -- This year's Sweep the Hooch event is expected to be the biggest one yet.

The annual Chattahoochee River clean-up to slated to attract nearly 600 volunteers at a number of locations along the water.

Last year, Sweep the Hooch participants gathered up nearly four tons of trash.

"This is the kind of hands-on work that Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and our partners do that reaffirms our commitment to keeping our river clean," Chattahoochee Riverkeeper executive director Sally Bethea said in a statement. "We'll have volunteers paddling the river, wading in the water and combing the shoreline for trash."

Clean-up locations along the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area run from Buford Dam to Paces Mill.

Sweep the Hooch will be Saturday, Apr. 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. To sign up as an individual or with a group, visit sweepthehooch.org.

 

Eagle Scout beautifies Gwinnett Tech

Eagle Scout beautifies Gwinnett Tech

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- A Gwinnett County Eagle Scout used his project to overhaul the landscaping at Gwinnett Technical College.

Brian Dalrymple is a junior at Mill Creek High School in Hoschton and a member of BSA Troop 1534 from Buford. His father Allan is program director of Gwinnett Tech's Emergency Services Education program.

Dalrymple and members of his troop planted 21 trees and 1,400 plants on the Gwinnett Tech campus. The Eagle Scout's plan was designed to minimize the heat island effect on the school's grounds, according to Gwinnett Tech spokesperson Dana Urrutia.

Urrutia said a heat island is created when open land and vegetation are replaced with roads and buildings. Effects of a heat island include increased energy costs and air pollution.

Dalrymple and Gwinnett Tech grounds manager Gail Zorn spent three weeks planning and planting the project. Thanks to his hard work, Dalrymple officially became an Eagle Scout in December.

Two cities earn Green Communities certification

Two cities earn Green Communities certification

ATLANTA -- Douglasville and Milton have joined Kennesaw and Gwinnett County as Georgia jurisdictions what have earned Green Communities certification.

According to the Atlanta Regional Commission, the communities were certified based on their leadership in implementing policies and practices that contribute to efficient and sustainable use of resources in metro Atlanta.

The certification was presented in a board meeting on Wednesday, the ARC reported. Since the program began four years ago, 18 jurisdictions have been certified.

Lake Lanier at lowest level since historic drought

Lake Lanier at lowest level since historic drought

GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- Authorities say Lake Lanier is now at its lowest level since March 2009 after dropping two feet in two weeks.

Officials say the lake is now at 1,058 feet above sea level, or 13 feet below full pool.

The Times of Gainesville reports that the last time Lake Lanier hit such a low mark was during the 2007-09 drought, when the lake was at 1,050.79 feet.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts that Lanier could drop to 1,055.2 feet by Dec. 21.

The agency says there's been very little rain anywhere in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River basin in recent days. The basin includes portions of Georgia, Florida and Alabama.