We along with the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce and professional angler Timmy Horton in partnership with Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) are hosting the Bear Creek Lakes Clean Up on Saturday, May 21 from 10am-1pm, and you're invited to help! This is a river stewardship event to collect litter from Bear Creek Lakes and is designed to help clean the Bear Creek Lakes system while raising awareness of its recreational impact to northwest Alabama. 

What To Expect

Residents, volunteers, and community leaders will remove trash along the Bear Creek Lakes and shores with support from Timmy Horton and team members of AMLA and the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. Some participants will clean from the shoreline, while others will remove trash from the lakes in work boats and other personal watercraft. The cleanup is made possible by a grant from TVA’s Reservoir and Community Cleanups funding program. The funds cover the cost of supplies such as trash bags, gloves, litter grabbers, dumpster rentals, safety items and first-aid kits for volunteers.  

Timmy Horton Outdoors

Horton of Muscle Shoals travels the country competing on the Bassmaster Elite Series bass fishing tour and filming shows for Timmy Horton Outdoors, Major League Fishing, The Bass Pros and other outdoors television programs. He is a former BASS Angler of the Year, one of ESPN’s 35 Greatest Anglers of all time and a four-time Bassmaster Champion.

"As outdoorsmen, it should be our priority to be good stewards of the outdoors that God has blessed us with, so generations can enjoy it as we do. I commend Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association for their initiative and for getting this event together," said Horton.

The Bear Creek Lakes cleanup will be recorded and aired at a later date on Timmy Horton Outdoors television show.

“AMLA markets and promotes the many outdoor recreation opportunities Bear Creek Lakes afford us, such as boating, canoeing, fishing and viewing wildlife. The cleanup will help preserve wildlife habitat and protect our natural resources for future generations to enjoy and we hope to raise awareness about the problem of litter, not just here in northwest Alabama, but in all of our cities and communities throughout the state,” said AMLA President and CEO Tami Reist.

Leave No Trace

“AMLA recently partnered with Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics to educate our outdoor visitors on how to be good stewards of north Alabama’s beautiful outdoors,” added Reist. For the last 25 years, Leave No Trace has been the most widely recognized stewardship education program on federal, state, and county lands in the United States. By providing best practices to those who spend time on public lands, Leave No Trace plays a critical role in conserving the natural environment and protecting outdoor experiences whether enjoyed in wilderness, open space, urban and remote trails, or coastal landscapes. The organization accomplishes its mission by providing innovative education, skills, research and science to help people care for the outdoors. By working with the public and those managing public lands, Leave No Trace focuses on educating people—instead of costly restoration programs or access restrictions—as the most effective and least resource-intensive solution to land protection. For more information on Leave No Trace or how citizens can get involved in their own communities, visit https://lnt.org/. For more information on AMLA’s partnership with Leave No Trace, visit https://www.northalabama.org/care/leave-no-trace/


Meet at Elliott Branch Campground located at 325 Elliott Branch Road in Hodges at 10am for a brief program and instructions. Organizers will group participants into teams of 15 before assigning a cleanup location. A limited number of supplies, such as gloves and trash bags, will be provided. The event will be held rain or shine. If you're interested in volunteering, you can sign up by May 13 by sending an email to Angie Pierce at angie@northalabama.org. Volunteers will receive a free lunch and t-shirt (while supplies last).

“In addition to drawing attention to river stewardship, the event is to bring awareness to the importance of the Bear Creek Lakes system and its impact on the North Alabama region,” said Reist. Located in northwestern Alabama near Russellville, Alabama, the Bear Creek Lakes system is comprised of four lakes -- Bear Creek Reservoir, Little Bear, Upper Bear and Cedar Creek. The Bear Creek Lakes are rated among some of the cleanest recreational waters in the South.  The 8,000 acres of crisp, clean waters and their surrounding woodlands offer boating, fishing, sand beaches, group pavilions, designated swimming areas, hunting, developed camping, picnicking and hiking. A 30-mile canoe float stream is located between Upper Bear and Big Bear Reservoirs. Several public launch facilities are easily accessible to drop in a boat, canoe, kayak or jet ski and take off for a day of beautiful scenery and fun on the water.

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