23rd Annual Conasauga Watershed Clean-Up Next Saturday at 7 Locations

River Cleanup Logo 2017.jpg

Whitfield County and Murray County residents are invited to participate in the 23rd Annual Conasauga Watershed Clean-up event on Saturday, October 28 to help keep local waterways clean at one of seven locations.

One of the largest local volunteer events in the community the annual Conasauga River Clean-up is hosted in partnership with several local non-profits, businesses, and environmental organizations during United Way’s Make a Difference Day.

Last year 290 volunteers picked up and removed more than 10,000 pounds of garbage from seven locations. “Volunteers that come out and participate are of all ages and walks of life so it is a wonderful opportunity to get to know other people while doing a service for your community.” Said Amelia Atwell, an event participant.

One of the six most biologically diverse freshwater river systems in the United States, the Conasauga River supports 24 endangered species and a dozen other imperiled species, including the Southern Pigtoe mussel and the Conasauga logperch, a fish found nowhere else in the world.

This year’s event takes place concurrently from 9:00 am to noon at seven different sites across both Whitfield and Murray counties. Be a part of the tradition by volunteering at one of the following locations:

1. Conasauga River at Carlton Petty Road bridge

2. Conasauga River at Highway 2 bridge

3. Conasauga River at Lower King’s Bridge and Norton Bridge

4. Holly Creek, Murray County, on the Chattahoochee National Forest

5. Mill Creek tributary in the City of Dalton

6. Coahulla Creek at Prater’s Mill

7. Lakeshore Park in the City of Dalton

Participants are encouraged to arrive early for on-site registration. Volunteers can expect to spend a couple of hours in the morning picking up trash and, depending on the location, removing invasive plants like Chinese privet. Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes or boots, long pants, and long sleeve shirts. Gloves, and trash bags will be provided at each site. T-shirts with this year’s river cleanup logo will be available on a first come first serve basis.  

To learn more about the river cleanup call Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful at 706-278-5001 or visit www.KeepDaltonWhitfieldBeautiful.org to download the event flyer with directions to each site. Join and share the event on Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KeepDaltonWhitfieldBeautiful.

Gretchen Lugthart, a long-time organizer of the event, stated “I think we have made some progress regarding people’s attitudes toward trash in this region, but until everyone respects our beautiful streams and rivers enough to dispose of trash properly, then we will have work to do.”

Event sponsors and organizers include: Shaw Industries, J+J Flooring Group, The Nature Conservancy, Rivers Alive, Dalton Utilities, United Way of Northwest Georgia, Dalton State College, Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority, Whitfield County Public Works, Conasauga River Alliance, Limestone Valley RC&D, US Forest Service, Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful, Murray County and Whitfield County Extension, Keep Chatsworth-Murray Beautiful, and Murray County Public Works.

2017 School Beautification Grant Winners

(Dalton, GA, September 15, 2017) – Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful is pleased to announce the winners of the third annual School Beautification Grants for 2017. The committee for Beautification and Community Greening established the grant program in celebration of National Planting Day, which took place September 8 and is celebrated thru the end of November.

Public and private schools in the Dalton, GA and Whitfield County were invited to apply for funding to implement a project related to planting native plants and beautifying the community. Each project aims to improve the visual aspects of the facility or provide an educational opportunity related to plants. Beautification grants range from a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $250.

This year the following ten schools were awarded a grant for their National Planting Day project:

1.    Blue Ridge Elementary School: Bringing New Life to Our Garden

2.    Dalton Middle School: Pollinator Garden for Bird Sanctuary

3.    Park Creek School: STEAM Garden Georgia Style

4.    Dalton High School: Renovation Recovery!

5.    Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy and Phoenix High School: School Beautification

6.    Antioch Elementary School: Courtyard Beautification

7.    Morris Innovative High School: First Impressions

8.    Tunnel Hill Elementary: Recreating the LeVerne Damron Reading Garden

9.    Dalton Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology: Bringing the Beauty from Within to the Surface

10. Roan School: Garden Club Pollinator Project


Projects will be completed by December 1 and each recipient will submit a project summary by December 19 to showcase their work. Visit Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful’s website www.KeepDaltonWhtifieldBeautiful.org or follow them on Facebook to get updates on the progress of these projects.  

National Planting Day is celebrated annually by Keep America Beautiful in the fall as an opportunity to encourage volunteers to plant native species restoring ecological balance to the environment while creating greener, more beautiful communities. Learn more about this event at www.kab.org.

Litter Enforcement Workshop To Be Held September 6

Litter Enforcement Training Workshop

September 6, 2017 • Dalton, GA

“Successful litter prevention requires a three-pronged approach including community education, eradication and enforcement”, said Sarah Visser, Executive Director of the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation, “Law enforcement officers and members of the judicial system are crucial partners in keeping our communities litter free and economically vibrant.”


The Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation awarded a grant to Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful and several other Georgia affiliates to make communities safer by encouraging the enforcement of Georgia’s Comprehensive Litter Prevention and Abatement Act. (See the Litter Law Chart Here.) “These workshops provide them with the tools and information they need to enforce the law successfully” added Visser.


Open to police officers, sheriff’s departments, code enforcement officials, prosecutors, judges and others charged with enforcing the law, the workshops, hosted by local Keep Georgia Beautiful Affiliates, will connect officials with resources and information to support them in reducing litter. Attendees will learn how aggressive litter enforcement has been used as a deterrent to additional crimes and how to work with the Courts and others to successfully deter littering and illegal dumping.


The workshop for the Northwest Georgia area will be presented by DNR Game and Fish Officer Scott Carroll on Wednesday, September 6 from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Dalton Police Department’s training room at 301 Jones Street. 3 hours of POST credit is available for certified law enforcement officers that complete the workshop in the subjects of Environmental Law Enforcement, Tactics, and Solutions.


Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful is hosting the event with special thanks to the Dalton Police Department, and the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority. The workshop is available for free to pre-registered attendees, thanks in part to the grant from the Foundation. Pre-registration is available online at https://kdwb.ticketleap.com/litter2017 until September 5.

2017 School Beautification Grants Available Thru Keep Dalton Whitfield Beautiful

(Dalton, GA, August 1, 2017) – Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful is pleased to announce the availability of School Beautification Grants for Fall 2017. The committee for Beautification and Community Greening has established mini-grants in celebration of National Planting Day. Beautification grants may range from a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $250.

Public and private schools in the Dalton, GA and Whitfield County area are invited to apply for funding that can help implement a project related to planting native plants. A school club, a single classroom, whole grade level or the entire school may organize a project and apply for a grant.

National Planting Day is celebrated annually by Keep America Beautiful in the fall as an opportunity to encourage volunteers to plant native species restoring ecological balance to the environment while creating greener, more beautiful communities. Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful is making these grants available to improve the visual aspects of our community through projects that beautify and clean the environment.

Knowing that children play a very important part in making this happen we want them to reap the benefits by participating in a project for their very own school. Beautification projects could include establishing or supporting a school garden, planting flowers in an outdoor space, or using plants for educational purposes.

Grant applications must be submitted online no later than September 8 at www.KeepDaltonWhitfieldBeautiful.org using the form on the Beautification Grant Application page.  Previous projects from 2015 and 2016 can be seen on the School Beautification Projects Page

For questions regarding the form or any aspects of your proposed project call executive director Liz Swafford at 706-278-5001. Grant winners will be announced September 15. Projects must be completed by December 1 and a project summary and photos are to be submitted by December 19. 

Keep Dalton-Whitfield Mural to Remain Downtown

Press Release


Contact: Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful, 706-278-5001, Lswafford@dwswa.org


June 30, 2017



Mural to Remain Downtown



Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful (KDWB) was informed Wednesday that the convenience store which hosts it’s mural, “An Earth Worth Saving” by local artist Henry Green, is scheduled to be remodeled by the new owners as part of their ongoing rebranding efforts. The much-needed face-lift included painting over the mural so the building could comply with the new branding guidelines. However, an agreement has been reached with the new owners to keep the mural as is while still remodeling the rest of the store.


MAPCO’s Vice-President of Operations, Dave DeSerio stated, “We have recently been made aware of the concern the Dalton community has in regards to the beautiful mural at one of our MAPCO locations. We want to ensure Dalton that the painting will not be removed and we are proud to be a part of such a creative community. As your neighborhood store, we support local efforts and we’re looking forward to ways in which we can further get involved in Dalton, GA.”


The mural, which was officially announced last April during a ribbon cutting ceremony, is located at the MAPCO convenience store on 304 N. Thornton Ave. in Dalton across the street from the Dalton Green and First Baptist Church. It was commissioned in 2015 in partnership with 1000 Words Dalton Art Project, then completed in early 2016.  


Executive Director for KDWB, Liz Swafford, has been in contact with MAPCO corporate management this week in an effort to come to a favorable agreement regarding the immediate future of the public art project. “Our discourse with management has been very positive. They understand that the mural is important to the residents of this community and will continue to honor the agreement we had made with the previous owners,” said Swafford.


KDWB chairman Anthony Cline started a petition on Causes.com Wednesday evening to provide an area for residents to show their support and express their desire to preserve the mural during store renovations. Several residents, Dalton City Council and Mayor Mock also sent letters to show their support for keeping the mural on the side of the store.


“The show of support for public art and the recycling and sustainability message of the mural has been amazing,” added Swafford. “KDWB is thankful for your support. We look forward to working on more public art projects with 1000 Words in the future.”