CONTACT: Karen Beasley, Director of Marketing & Communications
Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association
PHONE: 256.350.3500 / 800.648.5381

Wheeler Lake Cleanup Nets Over 1700 Pounds of Trash

Decatur, Ala. (October 3, 2023) – This past weekend, volunteers gathered at Point Mallard Park to participate in the Clean Up for the Cranes/Wheeler Lake cleanup organized by the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA) and Decatur Morgan County Tourism. A total of 1,742 pounds of trash was removed from and along Wheeler Lake and the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge during the event which took place Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. The effort was a volunteer event designed to help clean Wheeler Lake while raising awareness of its recreational impact to north Alabama.  

Approximately 40 people gathered Saturday along the shores of Wheeler Lake and within the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge and pulled litter, a wooden captain's steering wheel, wire fencing, furniture, a mattress, glass, debris and other junk from the water and surrounding area. “We wanted to give back by organizing a cleanup at one of our popular North Alabama lakes. The cleanup will help preserve wildlife habitat and protect our natural resources for future generations to enjoy. We also hope to raise awareness about the problem of litter, not just here in north Alabama, but in all of our cities and communities throughout the state,” stated AMLA President and CEO Tami Reist. 

Bringing in the most trash and receiving a cash prize of $500 was the Priceville FFA who collected 518 pounds of trash. Collecting 491 pounds of trash, second place went to employees and volunteers from Yedla Management Company. The $300 cash prize was donated to Good Culture, a non-profit organization that provides short-term financial support to qualified applicants from the hospitality workforce. Third place was awarded to a joint group of volunteers from AMLA and Decatur Morgan County Tourism who donated the $150 cash prize also to Good Culture. For more information on Good Culture, visit

Coordinated by AMLA and Decatur Morgan County Tourism, the Clean Up for the Cranes/Wheeler Lake cleanup was made possible by a 2022 Action Grant from the Hilton Global Foundation (HGF). HGF Action Grants are awarded to local organizations that have demonstrated a meaningful commitment to destination stewardship by improving travel destinations and creating a positive impact on the people and communities they serve. The 2022 HGF Action Grants are focused on the theme of Destination Stewardship, initiatives that improve travel destinations and positively impact the environment. 

For more information on the cleanup, call Reist at 800-648-5381.


Photo caption: Approximately 40 volunteers gathered at Point Mallard Park in Decatur, Ala. before dividing up into teams to gather trash within the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge and along Wheeler Lake September 30, 2023.

About Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA)
AMLA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of the $4.3 billion North Alabama travel industry within the 16 northernmost counties of the state. It is supported by 500-plus members consisting of chambers of commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, attractions, campgrounds, festivals, communities, golf courses, restaurants, accommodations and vendors. Counties included within the AMLA region are Blount, Cherokee, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan and Winston. Additional information on North Alabama destinations, accommodations and special events is available by calling 800.648.5381, by visiting and by following us on social media @VisitNorthAL.