Community cleanups make a difference

Published 8:23 am Monday, April 30, 2018

Last weekend a group of volunteers led by Carter County Proud spent their time cleaning up the Elizabethton portion of the Tweetsie Trail. They picked up some 32 bags of trash and litter along the trail.
This weekend, they planned to plant trees along a portion of the trail.
Every community in the county and city needs to do some much-needed spring cleaning — not the cleaning of the everyday, average household variety. But, a community cleanup sort of stuff that helps make area public spaces less cluttered and more attractive to view and visit.
There is much debris left over from the winter season — ditches and areas along roadways strewn with fast food wrappers, cups and bags, bottles, plastic bags, etc.
It doesn’t take a ton of time — a few hours maybe a little more — on a Saturday afternoon to pick up this trash. It does, however, take a commitment from residents in every community who take pride in their land and community.
As is so often the case, initiatives like the Tweetsie Trail cleanup make a noticeable difference in the immediate aftermath as parks, recreational spaces, alleys and streets all look a little nicer for at least a few days after clean sweep crews are finished.
It’s worth noting, however, that the changes don’t last forever and keeping up on the tidiness of any community requires more than a few hours on a single day. It requires diligence and a commitment from individual residents, homeowners, and business owners to putting trash in the garbage where it belongs and tending to unsightly issues involving buildings, yards, parking lots, and properties throughout the spring, the summer, and year-round.
Candy wrappers, empty chip bags, discarded newspapers, and other pieces of rubbish inevitably find their way to riverbanks, parks, and private properties.
Businesses, especially fast-food managers, should make it a point to clean their parking lots every day of garbage. Left laying, the garbage scatters to adjoining properties, making them unsightly.
Discarding pieces of garbage properly — while perhaps common sense and simple enough to some — still seems to be a problem for the less initiated among us who think nothing of dropping litter on the ground or tossing it out the window.
Trash just seems to have a way of sort of happening and, yes, it is necessary from time to time for community members to band together to clean it up.
On the plus side, clean sweeps like the ones that took place last weekend by Carter County Proud and the Watauga River Cleanup earlier this spring by Trout Unlimited become annual occurrences that have been widely supported and attended in recent years.
To the volunteers who showed up on Saturday to do their part, we say “Thank You” for your continued commitment to our area and for a job well done.

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