Community takes up call to Keep Blount Beautiful

Charlene Desha, Keep Blount Beautiful executive director, front, celebrates with members of the Environmental Action Team of Maryville College, as they participate in Adopt-a-Mile. Pictured are, from left, Ernie Reihl, Gar Secrist and Nado Chi.

Charlene Desha, Keep Blount Beautiful executive director, front, celebrates with members of the Environmental Action Team of Maryville College, as they participate in Adopt-a-Mile. Pictured are, from left, Ernie Reihl, Gar Secrist and Nado Chi.

Blount County Sheriff James Berrong looks over litter laws with Charlene Desha, executive director of Keep Blount Beautiful.

Blount County Sheriff James Berrong looks over litter laws with Charlene Desha, executive director of Keep Blount Beautiful.

Members of ReMax First celebrate adopting a portion of Court Street in downtown Maryville. Looking forward to keeping the area clean are, from left, Nicole Hull, Carol Flynn, Hope Cudd, Keep Blount Beautiful executive director Charlene Desha, Susie Frost, Laura Joyce, Jack Vincent, Mark Kaufman and Deanne Vinsant.

Members of ReMax First celebrate adopting a portion of Court Street in downtown Maryville. Looking forward to keeping the area clean are, from left, Nicole Hull, Carol Flynn, Hope Cudd, Keep Blount Beautiful executive director Charlene Desha, Susie Frost, Laura Joyce, Jack Vincent, Mark Kaufman and Deanne Vinsant.

Business and community leaders and law enforcement recently showed their support for keeping Blount County litter free.

ReMax First and a group from Maryville College each adopted stretches of road inside Maryville through the Adopt-a-Mile program and pledged man-hours to keep the thoroughfares clean of litter. Sheriff James Berrong also met recently with Keep Blount Beautiful executive director Charlene Desha to go over new state litter laws.

On March 10, realtors with ReMax First at 612 Crawford St. gathered on Court Street near Church Avenue to watch as Maryville municipal workers placed a sign signifying their office had adopted a stretch of the road.

Hope Cudd, broker, said they were adopting Court Street from Church Avenue to West Lamar Alexander Parkway. “We’re looking forward to our first clean up the second week of April, and we’re definitely planning a clean up after the Foothills Fall Festival,” she said. “We think it is important, and we definitely think this is what we want to get involved in.”

Cudd said litter is a problem not just in Blount County but also throughout the state. “I think for us, if we get involved and the public sees people cleaning up, it educates others to stop throwing trash out the window,” she said.

Jack Vincent with ReMax First was the first to pick up a piece of trash on the ground near the sign. “If we’re going to do this, we better practice what we preach,” he said.

Desha was thankful for ReMax First’s willingness to commit to the project. “I just think it’s very important to get information out about litter,” he said. “Having businesses and organizations adopt stretches of road shows they have pride in their county and city.”

Also on March 10, several members of the Maryville College Environmental Action Team mete near the sign that shows they have adopted Lamar Street by the college where the pedestrian bridge crosses West Lamar Alexander Parkway.

Desha said an environmental group from the college had previously adopted the same road in 2000. “They re-formed and have a different name now. It’s a new group for Maryville College, and they readopted it.”

As participating organizations, both ReMax First and E.A.T. have agreed to pick up litter along the adopted streets four times per year.

According to its mission statement, E.A.T. strives, “as a collective body and as individuals who value the welfare of the environment as a prerequisite to a fulfilling life, to apply environmentally conscious values to issues in the lives of students on the Maryville College campus.”

On March 5, Blount County Sheriff James Berrong met with Desha to discuss new litter laws in Tennessee.

“I’m so excited Sheriff Berrong took time out of his busy schedule to discuss the new litter laws,” she said. “Litter is an expensive and nasty problem in our county. With backing from the Blount County Sheriff’s Department I believe we have a fighting chance to Keep Blount Beautiful.”

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