By: Claire Tribble
“What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.”– Brené Brown. This is such a fitting quote for Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful. We are a nonprofit organization that relies on the support from Limestone County, the City of Athens, local businesses, and our amazing community who all donate time, labor, and funding. A simple “Thank you” will never be sufficient. Our goal is to make Athens and all of Limestone County a better place for everyone — the work we do has a positive effect on all residents and visitors.
On August 11, Knother event that Limestone County residents look for every year. Because of the Limestone County Commission, we are able to host this drive-thru service FREE of charge for our county. This collection allows for the recycling of and proper disposal of so many harmful chemicals. At the most recent collection in May, we took in fifteen 55-gallon drums of used motor oil. That’s 825 gallons that we eep Athens-Limestone Beautiful held an appreciation breakfast for the City of Athens officials, the Limestone County commissioners, and business sponsors that have been unwavering sources of support for us over the past year. Because of them, we are not only able to function as an organization and host litter cleanups throughout the county, but we have been able to have our Earth Day Expo, Household Hazardous Waste Collection, and the Wacky Quacky Ducky Derby.
Why are these events so important? Well, the Earth Day Expo is an event that is FREE to the entire community. We provide educational shows such as Steve Trash, Rockin’ Eco Hero, The Science Guys, and Rise Raptors for children (and let’s be honest, adults too!). We also have crafts that are free to make. Other exhibits such as Scott Clem, an entomologist from the University of Georgia; a petting zoo; Master Gardener tips; and the Athens State University Biology Department provide a fun educational experience for everyone. There are so many people in Limestone County that look forward to this event every year. All the credit for the Earth Day Expo goes to the fantastic support from Limestone County businesses and Athens State University.
The Household Hazardous Waste Collection is awere able to keep from contaminating the ground or water. All of this is possible because of the amazing support we received from the Limestone County commissioners.
The Wacky Quacky Ducky Derby is near and dear to our hearts because it is KALB’s largest fundraiser of the year. We race these crazy rubber ducks down the spillway at Big Spring Memorial Park for the chance to win AMAZING prizes that are generously donated by Athens and Limestone County businesses. The Wacky Quacky Ducky Derby is actually our next event, taking place on October 7 at 4 p.m. You can adopt ducks online, at our office, and at The Fiddler’s Convention! Once again, all of the credit for the success of this event goes to the incredible businesses of Limestone County.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is another major supporter of Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful. Without TVA, the outcomes of our river cleanups would not be as grand as they have been! Just this past March, TVA sponsored the Trash Attack River Cleanup along THREE roads that lead to the Tennessee River. The 72 volunteers who offered their time and HARD labor were able to clean up 8,820 pounds of litter. District 3 Commissioner Derrick Gatlin and several members of his crew worked right there with us to get all picked up and hauled off before it was strown about again. This kind of support is what makes the work we do not only possible, but successful.
Although we know that “Thank you” isn’t enough, we want everyone who has supported Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful over the years to know that we are ever so grateful for you. And for the businesses that have offered sponsorship for our events, we want you to know that you are the reason we can do the wonderful things we do for all of Limestone County.
By: Claire Tribble
Executive Director, Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful