The 17th annual Fall Clean Up was designed to keep the neighborhood attractive to both residents and visitors.
“When the leaves and the green are off the trees in the winter, the litter on the ground really stands out,” says Clean Up coordinator Johnnie Mae Swagerty, “so we try to get as much of it as we can in the fall, so the streets won’t look cluttered. It’s also less trash to pick up during the Spring Clean Up in a few months.”
The Fall Clean up is done by volunteers who are partnered with the New Vision Youth group, Kingsport Public Works, South Central Kingsport Community Development, and the local Community Corrections and Probation program. It’s a partnership that has worked well for many years.
“It keeps our community clean and free of trash,” Swagerty says.
During the first fall season 17 years ago, about 27 tons of trash and litter was picked up on the Saturday day of collection. Over the years, that amount has dropped off significantly, as residents in the neighborhood have gotten on board the litter-free campaign. Many of them take to policing the litter dropped on their own properties during the year.
“They have an incentive to keep it clean when they see our folks out picking the litter up,” says Swagerty.
Kingsport Public Works provided a garbage truck to haul away the trash that was collected.
A fried fish lunch free of charge for all of the volunteers was served in the Riverview Community Room of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Community Center after the litter collection.