Earth Day activities kick off Cleanup week in Jonesborough

Sue Guinn Legg • Apr 20, 2013 at 8:36 PM

The town of Jonesborough is inviting the public to join in an Earth Day celebration Tuesday morning at 9 at the Visitors Center on Boone Street to start Keep America Beautiful Spring Cleanup Week activities that continue through April 27.

Mayor Kelly Wolfe will introduce special guests Bobby Goode, director of USDA Rural Development in Tennessee, and representatives of Food City at the ceremony to commemorate Earth Day and Rural Development’s four decades of assistance with projects that have enhanced the town’s environmental and economic development.

Wolfe said the town has worked hard “to blend environmental improvements with planned growth in Jonesborough” and cited the 9.5-acre site on which the Visitors Center, Town Hall and the Jonesborough branch of the Washington County Library are located as an example.

The town purchased the property in 1979 with funding assistance from Rural Development and its development was a critical component of flood-control efforts that substantially reduced flooding in downtown Jonesborough, the mayor said.

More recently, Rural Development assisted with financing for expansions and improvements of Jonesborough’s water and wastewater treatment plants, the town’s purchase of the International Storytelling Center and land acquisition and future construction of the new Jonesborough Seniors Center.

On Monday afternoon, Food City employees will work with David Crockett High School to beautify and improve the picnic table and bench swing areas located on the south side of the Visitors Center. The groups will create a border and place mulch to prevent erosion around the heavily used outdoor furniture and return Tuesday morning to plant new greenery in the area.

Jonesborough’s weeklong Spring Cleanup activities are being held in conjunction with the national Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup, and the town is encouraging all residents, businesses and organizations to join in the removal of litter and junk to improve the appearance and safety of their property and their community.

Free, overnight junk collections will be conducted through April 27. The project will serve as a pilot for a possible ongoing refuse-removal program in Jonesborough and the town’s newly formed Keep America Beautiful Advisory Council is encouraging everyone to participate.

The town will provide large, plastic “Bagster Bags” designed to hold up to 3,300 pounds of refuse. Town trucks will be available throughout the week for overnight pickup of filled Bagster Bags.

The number of Bagster Bags is limited and will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Bag deliveries and pickup may be arranged by calling the Jonesborough Solid Waste Department at 791-3813 or Town Hall at 753-1030.

Maria Bledsoe, chairwoman of the new council, said visitors can tell when people care about their community and hopes “pride in Jonesborough will continue to be evident” to its guests.

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