• Laurel Contributor

Fight Dirty

by Donna Rhodes

The byways of Highlands remain pristine thanks to the Plateau Pick-up, set for April 20.

It’s that time of year again… time to fight dirty.

Last year North Carolina residents, in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the US Forestry Service picked, plucked, procured, and piled roadside trash into scores of recyclable bags, then loaded them onto trucks for a grand total of 245 tons (489,000 pounds).

That’s a whole lot of pickin’ by a bunch of grinnin’ folks, pleased with the results of their hard work.

Litter Sweep, the state’s project name, is conducted the last three weeks of April every year. It’s D.O.T.’s bi-annual statewide roadside litter removal initiative. In our neck of the Nantahala, we know it as Plateau Pick-up.

Initiated by Mirror Lake homeowners and now organized and sponsored by the Highlands Chamber of Commerce, the original event was known as the Gorge Road Clean-up. With litter mounting, Mayor Pat Taylor augmented cleanup efforts by offering Highlands’ support. Over the years the program expanded to include all Highlands’ entry routes: Highways 64, 106, and 28.

Mayor Taylor encourages everyone to join the army of volunteers gearing up to fight dirty on the Plateau.

He says, “The Highlands Plateau Clean-up is a premier community event for the spring and summer season. The Highlands Chamber of Commerce takes the lead in organizing the event, but many community groups and individuals come together on that Saturday to make it a total community effort.”

Last year there were over 80 volunteers who assisted in cleaning up the Plateau.

Beverly Wichman, Event & Volunteer Manager at the Highlands Chamber of Commerce, says, “the event would not be possible without the many wonderful volunteers who offer their time, hard work and enthusiasm. We appreciate everyone who participates.”

Join the gang Saturday, April 20, at 9:00 A.M. at Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park to get your area assignments. Breakfast and lunch will be served by Fresser’s Courtyard Café. Volunteers will be supplied with gloves, pick up tools, safety vests, garbage bags, and a “thank you” tee shirt.

For more information, contact Beverly Wichman at (828) 526-2112.

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