New Year, New Goals

By: Claire Tribble

Keeping with the most popular New Year’s tradition, Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful is making resolutions! However, unlike most people, we want our weight to increase! In 2023, KALB was responsible for removing 19,020 pounds of litter from Limestone County public lands and waterways. We have big plans for this next year in education, and events too!

My office assistant Earl and I have started a new program. We go out a couple of times a week and clean different spots in the city limits and the county. We started this at the end of November, and in 13 pickups, 120 bags of litter, many tires, and a lot of scrap metal has been cleaned up by the KALB office alone. According to Keep Alabama Beautiful, each bag averages 20 pounds. To put that into perspective, that’s 2,400 pounds of bagged trash alone. We already have a list of locations to clean up next, but if you know of any locations, be sure to let us know so that we can make sure to add them to the list!

We hope that we can increase our volunteer base this year as well! We have so many amazing volunteers that continue to come out and support Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful continuously, and we can’t wait to meet even more great people. Our volunteers truly go above and beyond to help improve Limestone County! In the past five years, KALB has been very fortunate to have 2,300 volunteers participate at our events. We are on a mission to grow our base and make Limestone County better than ever!

Some of our most dedicated volunteers, James and Kathleen Cutting, continue to devote many hours and their hard work to help our community. They are responsible for removing literal tons of litter and trash from Limestone County roadsides and waterways. Last I spoke with Mr. Cutting, he was taking a load of 34 tires to the district shed to be recycled, and still has 22 that needed the rims removed. That’s 56 tires they have removed from creeks and roadsides. He removed 13 tires and 4 televisions from Piney Creek at Hall Road alone last week, over maybe a tenth of a mile. James and Kathleen are truly dedicated to Limestone County, and we are beyond grateful for their time and hard work.

We started working on our 2024 Earth Day Expo several months ago. This year, we will have some exciting shows thanks to our generous and amazing sponsors. We have a soap bubble circus planned, Steve Trash – Rockin’ Eco Hero, and a petting zoo with a kangaroo! So mark your calendars — April 20, 2024, will be BIG!

Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful is working on fun and exciting new school programs for 2024 and beyond! We have some partnerships in the works to help bring new and exciting programs to all Athens City and Limestone County Schools. We are working with the Limestone County Commission Recycling Department to develop new recycling programs, and we are excited to implement them! We hope to have things ready soon, but we are always available to come speak to your class or organization. KALB loves being in the classroom, and we are gearing up for a busy spring and fall already!

So cheers to the New Year! We hope that you reach your new goals, as we are working hard to reach ours. We hope that everyone is off to a great start that only gets better from here. And of course. We hope to see you at some of our events this year.

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