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Carter Proud gaining momentum, tackling litter

“Doing my part to keep Carter County Beautiful!” That is the motto and modus operandi of the newly-formed group Carter Proud, which aims to eradicate litter and illegal dumping in Carter County.
It’s mission is simple: to assist community leaders in education, engagement and enforcement of a creative, comprehensive plan and new approaches to freeing the county of trash, litter and illegal dump sites. It seeks to inspire and engage citizens and community leaders to initiate changes that will contribute to a cleaner, greener, safer and healthier Carter County for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Founder Edward Jordan began this initiative by writing a letter to the editor of the Elizabethton Star, and then he visited various local boards and businesses seeking partnership, support and sponsorship. Thus far, he has presented the cause to the Carter County Sheriff’s Office, the Carter County Highway Department, the Watauga Watershed Alliance, Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey, the Downtown Business Association, the Lion’s Club, local businesses and local and state representatives. He said most have responded positively, and in the meantime, he has gained information and resources from Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and Keep Tennessee Beautiful (KTB).
The group now meets regularly and has established a list of goals and upcoming projects. Membership includes residents from the city and county, and Commissioners Bobbi Gouge-Dietz, Ross Garland, Bob Acuff and Charles VonCannon have stated their support.
At the most recent meeting on March 5, KTB Director Melissa Marshall explained the benefits of becoming an affiliate of KTB like the ability to receive grant funding, equipment for cleanup and public relations materials.
“We are delighted to find that our grass root goals and concerns fit right into this existing state public service,” said Jordan.
The board voted to petition the county’s support in becoming an affiliate with KTB, and Jordan said they have explained the importance of this cause to Humphrey.
Jordan also said TDOT plans to send a speaker to explain laws, cleanup and education and how Carter Proud, the county and TDOT can work together with programs like Adopt-A-Highway to have the greatest impact. Jordan said he has provided TDOT a list of some of the most problematic highways and TDOT representatives said they would post signs. Jordan has already adopted a two-mile section of Milligan Highway for cleanup.
The next meeting on April 12 will feature a speaker from TDOT at a location to be announced closer to the date. For more information about Carter Proud, email Jordan at shundra77@icloud.com.