Keeping Carter County Beautiful by cleaning up the mess

With Earth Day comes an increased awareness of the environment and the community’s need to protect it. This includes cleaning up after humanity’s messes.

Keep Carter County Beautiful is getting ready for their annual Tweetsie Trail Cleanup, their way of keeping the county as clean as they can make it.

Chairman of the committee Edward Jordan said the cleanup serves both an immediate purpose and a long-term one, saying litter has more long-term consequences than people realize.

“When people throw away all their fast food trash, it attracts critters,” Jordan said. “There is a lot of roadkill here.”

He said cleaning up the trail is crucial for the region, as the Tweetsie Trail is significant to the region’s tourism.

“It is one of our biggest attractions for tourists,” he said. “It is a beautiful trail.”

Mike Simerly, a member of Elizabethton City Council and KCCB, said the cleanup is a way to bring the community together.

“This is what community is all about,” Simerly said. “It is not just a city. This is our home.”

The specifics of the cleanup depend on how many people show up, but in an ideal situation, Jordan said they plan to clean the trail between the Lion’s Club ball field to the Elizabethton High School parking lot. Two groups will form from the volunteers present, and each will start at one end of the designated trail. The groups will clean until they meet somewhere in the middle.

Jordan said he hopes the cleanup, which KCCB has put on for at least three years, serves to instill a sense of pride in Carter County.

“It is about being a part of cleaning up our beautiful trail and taking pride in the environment,” Jordan said.

Simerly said the cleanup is a chance to meet new people and contribute to a common cause.

“My favorite part is the camaraderie and fun,” he said. “So many people come together. At the Blue Hole cleanup, over 40 people showed up. They came from all over, not just from Carter County.”

Jordan said those interested can just show up at the Lion’s Baseball Field Saturday at 10 a.m., located near Hudson Drive.

KCCB will be giving out reusable, cloth grocery bags to those in attendance Saturday.

Those volunteering should bring good gloves and shoes to protect themselves while picking up sometimes dangerous trash.

Jordan also said students who are looking for ways to do their community service hours are more than welcome to attend, saying students from Milligan College already plan to attend the cleanup.

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