Decades Of Dedication

By: Claire Tribble

On April 27, we will be hosting the Joann Christopher Memorial Elk River Cleanup, which is being funded by TVA. We will be based at Sportsman’s Park on Elk River Mills Road. This cleanup is a tribute to the many, many decades of hard work and dedication that Joann Christopher gave to Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful and Limestone County. This cleanup will be a continuation of Joann’s years of blood, sweat, and tears. As a community, we owe her a BIG thank you!

Let me tell you about Mrs. Joann Christopher. She became a part of Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful when it was still known as Athens Clean Community. In the 1970s, she lived on the Elk River, and she began to clean up spots when she found them littered. She soon started a newsletter that went out to her friends and neighbors who also lived on the Elk River, and shortly she had a group that shared her passion — keeping their environment clean. She was active in these cleanups until her retirement in 1999.

Not only was she active with Athens Clean Community, but she was also integral in the development of the recycling program in Athens. This all started in the late 1970s. Mr. Guy McClure’s Science Club at Athens High School started a newspaper recycling project. It was going so well, that they added aluminum cans to the project. When the project grew too large for the school to handle, the club moved their project to the original Recycling Center behind Roselawn Cemetery. By this time, Athens Clean Community had become Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful (KALB). Joann helped us gain the non-profit status in 1979. She not only helped develop the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center, but she is the reason that we have a curbside pickup service in Athens.

We at KALB, along with Joann’s family, ask you to come out on Saturday, April 27, and volunteer to help us clean up the Elk River. With TVA’s sponsorship, we will be able to provide volunteers with breakfast, all supplies, and a free “thank you” gift. We will be meeting at Sportsman’s Park at 8 a.m. for registration, breakfast, instructions, and supplies. We will disperse from there and put in some of our own blood, sweat, and tears to honor the decades of dedication that Joann gave to Limestone County.

By: Claire Tribble – Executive Director, Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful