Organizers are preparing now for another strong turnout to serve the communities of Adairsville, Atco, Emerson, Taylorsville, Oakland Heights and Allatoona.
Bartow County Earth Day efforts last year racked up 10,500 pounds of trash collected for a total value of $50,000 in community savings from litter removal, education and volunteer hours.
“It’s a day that has been set aside when everyone recognizes the importance of the environment and it’s a day for volunteer activities and doing your civic duty,” said Keep Bartow Beautiful Assistant Director Missy Phillips. “It can have an incredible impact and it’s instantaneous. Not only do the volunteers, especially if they’re from the community, have a better feeling about where they live, but they’re less likely to allow the area to become as littered as it was before.”
Keep Bartow Beautiful has been organizing Earth Day cleanups since its creation in 2000. This year, cleanups will span the month of April. Anheuser-Busch began Saturday with an Etowah River cleanup in coordination with nationwide efforts dubbed America Made Better. This Saturday, communities across the county will continue by cleaning up litter and trash, including Cartersville’s efforts in the Atco community. This Earth Day will mark a first for Cartersville as the city remembers Ray Southern, a public servant that helped organize Cartersville’s first Earth Day events.
“This year will be the first year for Cartersville that the event will be more than just a cleanup. As a community day, it will be a time for residents of the Atco Mill Village to come together in fellowship,” said Cartersville City Planner Richard Osborne. “Ray Southern, the longtime public works director for Cartersville, really worked hard and passed on a great legacy of promoting Keep Bartow Beautiful and the annual spring cleanups associated with Keep America Beautiful and Earth Day. Him being a Bartow County native, the longtime public works director, a deacon at Atco Baptist Church, having this event in the Atco Mill Village and naming the event this year in his honor — the Ray Southern Memorial Cleanup — is really a great tribute to this fine man.”
The Ray Southern Memorial Cleanup and Atco Community Day will begin at 11 a.m. with lunch provided by Atco Baptist Church at noon. From noon to 1 p.m., guests are invited to share in the community outing as the Cartersville Fire Department hands out free fire alarms; Sam Jones Memorial United Methodist Church Parish Nurse Laura Herr will provide free blood pressure screenings; Keep Bartow Beautiful will giveaway seedlings; and other community partners will have tables available to present information and resources.
“The whole event will just be a wonderful time for, potentially, a couple hundred people to come together,” Osborne said. “Cartersville High School football team has agreed to come out and participate, Cartersville Middle School will have a group of volunteers, so it’s really going to be a good community presence at this event.”
Within Atco, Keep Bartow Beautiful also will kick off a continued effort to renovate and improve the home of a senior adult who has lived in Atco for more than 50 years. The home improvement project is in coordination with local nonprofits, corporate partners and churches.
Earth Day cleanups will begin as early as 8 a.m. Saturday, April 20. The first to kick off will be the Emerson Community Cleanup. Volunteers can register at 8 a.m. at Emerson City Hall. For more information, call 770-382-5614.
Registration for the Taylorsville Community Cleanup will begin Saturday, April 20, at 9 a.m. at Taylorsville City Hall. For more information, call 770-387-6544.
The Ray Southern Memorial Cleanup and Atco Community Day will begin at 11 a.m. at Atco Baptist Church. For more information, call 770-387-5614.
The following week, on Saturday, April 27, Bartow County Government and Georgia Highlands College will host the Gene Thacker Memorial Cleanup. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. at the Georgia Highlands Cartersville Campus. For more information, call 678-872-8332.
The final Earth Day cleanup for 2013 will be the Allatoona Community Junk Dump on Saturday, June 1. For more information, visit www.allatoonacommunity.org or call 678-383-2330.