Carter County Proud encourages litter awareness on Tweetsie Trail

Published 4:56 pm Monday, April 24, 2017

While inclement weather lingered in the region over the weekend, more than a dozen volunteers would not be denied a chance to promote the environment of Carter County.
Starting from the Elizabethton Lions Field entrance for the Tweetsie Trail, volunteers walked the popular attraction during the inaugural Carter County Proud Tweetsie Trail Cleanup Awareness Event on Saturday, April 22, to celebrate Earth Day and encourage citizens to stop littering in the county.
“It was all about raising awareness,” Carter County Proud founder Ed Jordan said. “I was very excited and encouraged about the amount of people who showed up to take part in the walk, and the amount of people that honked and showed their support for the initiative.”
Members of Carter County Proud, the Elizabethton Lions, Elizabethton City Manager Jerome Kitchens, Milligan College students, County Commissioners Cody McQueen and Ross Garland, along with other highly-motivated citizens, walked the Tweetsie Trail until reaching their final destination of Elizabethton High School. Volunteers walked the Trail and picked up litter and donned homemade signs that had various phrases, including “Every Litter Bit Hurts” and “U Can Recycle.” The group was scheduled to conclude their walk near Covered Bridge Park but inclement weather caused a quick detour for the endeavor.
Even though the weather threw a couple of curveballs, Jordan stressed the importance of having city and county government representation taking part in the event.
“We’re very appreciative of their support,” he said. “We had the City Manager help, a couple of County Commissioners … and they were ready to help us pick up the trash around the Trail. The Trail is relatively clean, there were a couple of spots we were able to get, but just the fact both entities came together to show support means a lot.”
Carter County Proud is currently looking at the possibility of being associated with Keep Tennessee Beautiful in the coming months. Representation from the group met with the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce Executive Board last week in a “positive” meeting, according to Jordan and Chamber Director Tonya Stevens. Stevens added that the Chamber will meet with Carter County Proud in the near future to look at a business model and other information before making a final decision of taking the group under the Chamber umbrella.
Even though an official affiliation is still to be determined, KTB showed their support for the event by providing a banner of the “Great American Cleanup Event” — which each affiliate organizes during their year to promote litter awareness/pickups in their respective communities.
“We also appreciate Keep Tennessee Beautiful for their support for this event,” Jordan said. “They supplied us with shirts and the banner. Even though we aren’t affiliated, they still wanted to show their support for the walk.”
Carter County Proud, just a little over a year since its inception, is just one of the various cleanup groups across the state aiming to bolster the Tennessee environment.
Along with KTB, the Tennessee Department of Transportation has upped the ante for cities by encouraging residents to report litter crimes. The public can visit or call 1-877-8-LITTER to report roadway litter by vehicles. TDOT provides a letter to those that litter and provides educational material for the person in question, including information about how litterers can be fined up to $1,500.
To get involved locally, Carter County residents can visit the Carter County Proud Facebook page online to learn more.

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