Volunteers urged to ‘Team Up to Clean Up’ to celebrate Earth Day
Laurens County, South Carolina – Three weeks into April’s “Upstate Team-Up to Clean-Up” anti-litter challenge, Laurens County has already had many bags of trash cleared from its roadways with many more events remaining for volunteers to join in or launch a cleanup of their own.
“Last week the American Legion Post 25 picked up 50 bags of trash in only two days along Highway 14,” said Courtney Stonell, the director of the Keep Laurens County Beautiful Affiliate. “Other small groups have also contacted me and have held cleanups and we are getting the word out that others can join. Or they can form their own group and contact me for supplies.”
The previous week, Kellie Carroll assisted her 16-year old son, Brennan, in gathering a group of about nine friends and family to clean West Farley Street in Laurens Friday morning.
The Team-Up to Clean-Up campaign was launched through Stonell’s conversations with other Keep America Beautiful affiliate directors this winter at their regular meetings, and they decided to have a competition between their seven Upstate counties. Palmetto Pride agreed to come on as a sponsor.
“We wanted to see how much trash we could get in the three weeks between April 1 and leading up to Earth Day on April 22,” Stonell said. “It’s the type of concerted effort that can make a big impact on the entire Upstate, and an even bigger impact within the individual counties. It’s a friendly competition but we really want to win.”
On Saturday there were several clean ups. Ware Shoals did its annual community event this past Saturday and resulted in 1,820 pounds of trash in The Laurens County dumpster which had been placed at Pitts Park, Stonell said. American Legion Post 25 collected 15 bags on Wilson Street, and First Presbyterian in Laurens picked up 25 bags of trash in the areas near Whelon Road.
Clearing trash from the roadways is even more important near streams and creeks and it’s why the work in Ware Shoals was important.
“We share the waterways,” Stonell said. “When you clean up you’re helping to prevent things that drain to the stream. Anything on the grounds will eventually end up in our streams, rivers and lakes and then it ends up polluting our drinking water.”
Anyone who would like to form a group can use their own supplies or get supplies from Stonell or the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce, but it’s important that the results get reported back to them, Stonell said.
The following cleanup efforts continue this week, culminating in the municipal events this Saturday, April 22. They include the following:
• LDHS Chick-fil-A Leadership Academy Cleanup – April 20
• City of Laurens and CPW employees Laurens Cleanup – April 20
• Ten at the Top Upstate Laurens Cleanup – Garlington Street area – April 21
• Town of Gray Court Community Cleanup – April 22, 8:30 a.m.
• City of Laurens Earth Day Community Cleanup – April 22, 9 a.m.
• Town Of Cross Hill Cleanup – April 22, 9 a.m.
• Presbyterian College Cleanup – April 22
Anyone can join in with these cleanup events or contact Stonell for supplies by calling her work cell at 864-871-6031, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling The Laurens County Chamber of Commerce at 864-833-2716.