With rain and thunderstorms forecast for Saturday, this year’s annual Great American Cleanup may move to a rain date.
At press time Thursday, only Appalachia had canceled its cleanup. Organizers in Norton and Pound said they had set next Saturday, May 2, as their rain date for the cleanup. Greg Cross, Wise County litter prevention and recycling coordinator, said Thursday that all other towns, including Appalachia, told him they will set a rain date at a later time if this weekend’s festivities are canceled. He advised people to drive by cleanup meeting locations tomorrow to see if events are being held as scheduled.
Town and county cleanups run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Norton’s effort runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with registration in the municipal parking lot beside the Coalfield Progress building.
Norton Parks and Recreation Director Shelley Knox said she will be set up tomorrow morning and urged participants to come by. If it’s raining, she’ll advise them whether the cleanup will proceed or be postponed to Saturday, May 2.
But if people come out and don’t find Knox there at 10 a.m., they should assume the event has been pushed back one week, she said.
The same is true in Pound, organizer Margaret Sturgill said. Volunteers will gather at town hall if the weather permits.
The Great American Cleanup effort is one of several trash cleanups and beautification events being held this month.
A cleanup Wednesday at the Guest River Gorge Trail near Coeburn saw an estimated 45 to 50 volunteers collect trash along the trail, entrance road and parking lot. Cross said Thursday that about a ton of trash was collected during the four-hour event. The annual event is sponsored by county litter control, U.S. Forest Service, and Keep Wise County Beautiful. Other volunteer groups included two kayakers, a canoeist, Flatwoods Job Corps Center, Eastside High School students, and the Lonesome Pine Soil and Water Conservation District.
Also, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, Keep Wise County Beautiful will host its annual paper shredding event in the Norton Magic Mart parking lot. The annual household hazardous waste collection day will also be held in this parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 16.
Additional information about tomorrow’s cleanup events include:
• Norton: Special incentives will be offered as a way of saying thanks for the community’s efforts to keep Norton clean. Turn in a filled 30-gallon trash bag and receive a flower and a reusable bag. Find one of three orange painted soft drink bottles to win $20 in the Riches in the Ditches reward. If finding a bottle, take it to the registration site, along with a 30-gallon bag filled with roadside litter. For information call the Norton Recreation Department at 679-0754.
• Pound’s cleanup effort this year will include thank-you gifts sponsored by The Feed Bucket for all participants who turn in a 30-gallon bag of roadside trash as well as Trash-to-Cash prizes. Modeled after Norton’s successful program, Pound’s Trash-to-Cash hunt includes a $20 cash prize awarded to the diligent cleanup participant who finds any one of three specially painted bright red and yellow aluminum cans containing the Trash-to-Cash coupon. If you find one, take it to the registration site at town hall, along with a 30-gallon bag filled with roadside litter, to redeem your prize. Volunteers will gather at town hall beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday. For more information, contact Margaret Sturgill at 796-5060, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• In Wise County, call Keep Wise County Beautiful at 276/328-1000.
• Appalachia: Skate park. Gary Dean, 276/565-2537.
• Big Stone Gap: Bullitt Park. Tammy Grimes, 276/523-0115, ext. 7.
• Coeburn: Amphitheater. Danny Jordan, 276/395-6819.
• St. Paul: Town hall. Glenda Lane, 276/762-5297.
• Wise: Big Glades Community Square. Laura Mullins, 276-328-6187.