By: Leigh Patterson
Litter. It seems as though it is everywhere right now, and it seems worse than it has been in quite some time. Why is it this way? There are a few answers, such as people tossing trash out of their car windows, litter blowing out of uncovered trucks and trailers, loose garbage in trash cans that has not been bagged properly, and other reasons. Also, due to COVID-19, the state inmates have not been allowed to work with litter crews and the roadways have not gotten as much attention over the last 11 months (though some programs have started back, and the amount of litter and debris picked up has been staggering!). The fact is that each one of us has to take responsibility for our own garbage and for making sure that it is disposed of properly. Athens and Limestone County, we are better than this!
Here at KALB, we are working to help with the litter issue, but we cannot do this alone. We have hosted two cleanups over the last month, and thanks to all of our wonderful partnerships and volunteers, these cleanups have been quite successful.
The first was our cleanup at Swan Creek Wildlife Management Area on Monday, January 18. We are grateful for the 36 people that volunteered their time to help as an act of service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We removed 3,780 pounds of trash from the area. We partnered with Tennessee Riverkeeper for this event, and the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center provided a truck and trailer for us to use to haul away the trash and debris. We would like to thank both organizations for their support that day!
Our second cleanup was held on Buzzard Roost Road in West Limestone on Saturday, February 6. There is no way that this event could have taken place on such a large scale without the partnerships and community involvement that were present. Nearly 120 people volunteered in many different capacities that day. By working together, everyone made a huge impact on this area that has needed attention for quite some time. The total amount of trash and debris removed was 29.9 TONS (59,800 pounds)!
KALB would like to thank LaDon Townsend, District 4 Commissioner, who was so helpful in planning and implementing this cleanup. We would also like to thank the following for their support of this event: Limestone County Commission, Limestone County Sheriff’s Office, Keep Alabama Beautiful, West Limestone Volunteer Fire Department, Glenn Tarpley, Cody Gibson, Christo’s Dari-Delite, and Athens-Limestone Recycling Center. Thank you to the volunteers from the community who brought their own large equipment to this event and worked so hard! We are so grateful for all of our wonderful volunteers who took time out of their Saturday to help with this event. This event truly showed just how much a community can accomplish by working together!
If you missed out on the opportunity to help at our last two cleanup events, our Trash Attack and Waterway Cleanup is coming up on March 6. We hope you will consider joining us.
KALB’S THIRD ANNUAL TRASH ATTACK AND WATERWAY CLEANUP
DATE AND TIME: Saturday, March 6 from 8:00 a.m. to noon.
- Athens – Big Spring Memorial Park (the duck pond)
- Ardmore – Corner of Main Street and Ardmore Ave. (partnering with United Turf and
- West Limestone – Hatchery Road Boat Launch off Hwy. 99 in West Limestone
SPONSORS: Thank you to our sponsors Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Keep Alabama Beautiful in partnership with the Alabama Department of Transportation
BREAKFAST: Donuts and coffee provided to volunteers at 8:00 a.m. at each location.
REGISTRATION: Please email KALB at KALBCares@gmail.com or call 256-233-8000 to let us know you will be participating. This information is helpful to ensure we have enough supplies and provisions for breakfast. Registration is not required to participate; however, is helpful to organizers.
HOLD HARMLESS: All adult participants must sign a Hold Harmless Agreement which will be available on the day of the event. All participants under the age of 18 must have a Consent Form and Hold Harmless Agreement for Minors signed by a parent or legal guardian. All minors must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
SUPPLIES: Trash bags, gloves, vests, and litter grabbers will be provided by TVA, KALB, and KAB. Gloves will be available, but participants are encouraged to bring their own. Participants may bring rakes, shovels, chains, waders, and other equipment, if desired, to help remove difficult debris.
PROPER DRESS: Participants should wear long pants and footwear appropriate for the work to be done. No sandals.
WATERCRAFT: Boats, canoes, and kayaks are welcomed to help remove litter from the Elk River and other waterways as appropriate. All required safety equipment must be on board.
Contact KALB with questions by calling 256-233-8000 or email KALBcares@gmail.com.
By: Leigh Patterson
Executive Director – Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful