By: Lynne Hart
On Saturday, March 14, KALB held our annual Trash Attack and Waterway Cleanup.
It was a drizzly morning and people were talking about the possibility of the novel coronavirus becoming a pandemic. It would be the last gathering KALB would have this spring.
The very next week, everything turned upside down and life changed. There were so many decisions to be made and things to take care of to protect our employees and our organization while honoring the stay-at-home order. Like many other businesses and organizations, we will have an uphill climb to rebuild the losses we will have suffered.
Because of all of these concerns, I never shared the results of our Trash Attack with the community, and it is my intent to correct that now.
Although it was a damp morning and a threat of a pandemic loomed over us, 71 volunteers arrived at Big Spring Memorial Park in Athens, Jones Drugs in Ardmore, and at the Elk River boat launch off Hatchery Rd. in West Limestone.
Thanks to the Tennessee Valley Authority, the premier sponsor of this event, all volunteers enjoyed donuts and coffee before setting off to work. Once everyone had their safety vests, gloves, trash bags, litter grabbers, Lowe’s buckets, and instructions, they all set out to work on cleaning litter from roadways and waterways in Limestone County.
At the end of the event, those 71 volunteers had worked 284 hours and removed 5,355 lbs. of trash from Limestone County roadways and waterways.
We are so very grateful to everyone who came out, braved the weather, and worked so hard!
How I wish everyone would have the opportunity to pick up other people’s trash. It is definitely an eye-opening experience that makes most people who do it much more conscious of how they handle their own trash. That includes securing bags of garbage under a tightly placed trash can lid, using a litter bag to hold vehicle trash until it can be properly thrown away, and having a greater understanding of the amount of litter that is out there. Thank you to all who respect others and the environment by handling their own trash correctly.
Although COVID-19 has caused many troubles, we have also seen people come together to help. I love this quote from Mr. Rogers as he tried to help children cope with tragedy: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.”
Thank you to all of the helpers out there. Thank you to all of the essential workers who take care of us in so many ways. And thank you to the volunteers who came out on a rainy morning to pick up trash because they wanted to help make our community a healthier place for all living things.
By: Lynne Hart
Executive Coordinator – Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful