Coalition's primary goal is to empower our youth

    As spokesman for the N.C. Litter-Free Coalition, Cherokee County chapter, I have been given permission to write a monthly column for the Cherokee Scout about the groups, individuals and organizations that are involved in restoring the true beauty to Cherokee, Clay and Graham counties. 

    If you are in one of the following categories or know someone that is, please contact us. 

    It will be our goal to seek out those in our communities that contribute time, energy or resources to improving the image and economy of our tri-county and North Carolina by removing community litter.

    The groups, individuals and organizations being sought include but aren’t limited to our N.C. Adopt-A-Highway groups, “Road Warriors” (groups and individuals), private businesses that mow the rights of way, N.C. Department of Transportation employees that support our efforts and businesses that pick up the litter around their businesses every week (be a good neighbor).

    It is not the goal of the N.C. Litter-Free Coalition to organize and conduct highway and community litter events. However, it is our intent to encourage entire communities to collect litter on the third Saturday of February, May, August and November, and to put that highway litter in “orange” bags so DOT will collect and dispose of these bags.

    For DOT litter bag collection, call Cherokee County at 837-2742, Clay County at 389-8532 and Graham County at 828-479-3520. Personal trash will not be picked up by the DOT.

    If you need “orange” bags, please contact the N.C. Litter-Free Coalition.

    The time to say “thank you” to all media that cover our efforts and events is now, not tomorrow or sometime soon. Please send a “letter to the editor” thanking them for publishing the many stories about those in our community that clean up the messes that others leave.

    Media outlets are a business, and like any business they need to know that their efforts are appreciated, so please email your comments or send them in handwritten form to the following media organizations. If you can do neither, please call them and let your voices of support be heard.

    By sending letters to the editor, you become part of the solution to the efforts to restore the true beauty to “America the Beautiful” in Cherokee, Clay and Graham counties.

    • Cherokee Scout, Editor Mathew Osborne and Publisher David Brown, editor@cherokeescout.com, 837-5122.

    • Andrews Journal, Editor Mathew Osborne, editor@myandrewsjournal.com, 837-5122.

    • Clay County Progress, Editor Becky Long, publisher@claycountyprogress.com, 389-8431.

    • The Graham Star, Editor Gary Corsair, editor@grahamstar.com, 828-479-3383.

    Other media organizations that also deserve our support and report on our efforts are WKRK-AM 1320 radio, 837-4332; Local TV Channel 4, 828-202-6573; the Appalachian Messenger, www.AppalachianMessenger.com; and Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce, 837-2242.

    We’re encouraging those who read this to contact the media organizations noted and let them know you appreciate their efforts.

    I hope you will copy the N.C. Litter-Free Coalition on what you sent to the media and visit our Facebook page “North Carolina Litter-Free Coalition” or mail your comments to us.

    Your voice on highway and community litter will determine our future. Our primary goal for 2017 is “Empowering our youth through community pride projects.”

    The writer is a resident of Murphy. Email comments and questions to him at folksvilleUSA@gmail.com.