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Make a Difference in Your Community on the 15th Annual MLK Day of Service

Throughout the year, the Athens-Clarke County community has gotten together to make a positive impact, whether through small group events, such as decaling storm drains, or through large community service projects, such as Rivers Alive. ACC Stormwater is excited to kick-off 2017 with that same community spirit. Did you resolve to help others or give back to your local community in 2017? If so, consider volunteering for the Athens MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 16th. There are many different service opportunities (some indoor, some outdoor, some requiring more physical exertion than others, some messy and some not, and some family/child appropriate). ACC Stormwater is partnering with ACC Leisure Services to lead a Habitat Restoration project at Trail Creek Park. You can view a full list of projects and sign-up to volunteer here.

The MLK Day of Service Kickoff celebration will be held at the Lay Park Community Center (267 Hoyt Street) at 8:30am, with the first 500 registered volunteers getting free t-shirts and breakfast. This year's featured speaker is Life the Griot, a local spoken word artist. Volunteers will then disperse to work sites around 9:30am and work until 1:00pm.
For more information about #AthensMLKDay, please visit the MLK Day website or official Facebook page.

Tips for Smart Residential Stormwater Management

In urban areas with lots of development, stormwater rapidly runs off of roofs, driveways and streets, picking up pollutants like oil and pet waste in its path. The water that flows in our storm drains flows directly into our waterways, without passing through a water treatment plant, so it is important that only rain goes down storm drains. We encourage homeowners to think about their contribution to runoff and consider ways to better manage the water coming off their property. Here are some simple things you can do to make a big impact:

  • Reduce the amount of impervious area on your property so that more rain can soak into the ground. Use permeable pavers when possible.
  • Plant native trees and plants in your yard which encourage infiltration.
  • Install a rain barrel to capture some of the rainwater from your roof. Call 706-613-3440 if you are interested in attending a free rain barrel workshop.
  • Install a rain garden with native vegetation to capture stormwater and encourage infiltration.
  • Properly dispose of leaf and limb debris by bagging it for pick-up, taking it to the ACC Landfill, or adding it to a contained compost pile away from water. View ACC’s Leaf and Limb pick-up schedule here.
  • If you live close to a detention facility or pond, avoid making drastic changes to your landscape. This can affect the way water is routed to those stormwater facilities.
  • If you have a stream or tributary in your backyard, don't mow right up to the water's edge. Leave a section along the water where grass, shrubs and trees can grow freely. If you must maintain this area for safety purposes, leave the grass and vegetation at least 6 to 12 inches high.
  • Don't cut down trees near water. Tree roots hold stream banks in place, prevent erosion, and provide shade to the water to keep it from heating up in the sun.
  • Follow directions carefully when applying fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. They are very likely to end up in our waterways; if not immediately, then with the next rain. Avoid using these in a stream buffer.
  • If you need to do any work in a stream buffer, contact the ACC Planning Department at 706-613-3515. You may need a permit.
Contact the Stormwater Management Program at 706-613-3440 if you have any questions.

Upcoming Events

Clarke County School District Science and Engineering Fair
Saturday, January 7th, 10:30am-2:30pm
Cedar Shoals High School (1300 Cedar Shoals Drive)
ACC Stormwater will be an exhibitor during the CCSD Science and Engineering Fair’s annual Science Expo. Test your stormwater knowledge in a fun trivia game and view science projects done by secondary students around Athens-Clarke County.
Green Life Expo
Saturday, January 28th, 10am-4pm
Athens-Clarke County Library (2025 Baxter Street)
The ACC Library and ACC Recycling Division bring you the Green Life Expo 2017! The GLE is an event that brings families and people all over Athens to learn about being green. There will be educational seminars, business and green organization exhibitors, and activities for kids.

For more information about the event, visit or call (706) 613-3512 x316.
Deadline for Submissions to the Ripple Effect Film Project
January 31st
The Ripple Effect Film Project invites filmmakers from around the state of Georgia to submit short films and Public Service Announcements that focus on our connection to the ocean. Finalists' films will be showcased at the Blue Carpet Premiere at the historic Morton Theater in Athens, Georgia on March 25, 2017. Films must be submitted by January 31, 2017.
For Official Rules and more information about Ripple Effect, visit, or email with questions.

Contact Us

Stormwater Management Program
Department of Transportation and Public Works
Athens-Clarke County Unified Government
120 W. Dougherty Street
Athens, GA 30601
Notice Dumping?
Call the Stormwater Hotline at 706-614-1282 if you see someone dumping into a storm drain or notice flooding due to clogged drains or pipes.

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