City, county setting stage for Community Awareness Week

By Thomas Wilson

   Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for Community Awareness Week Oct. 13-19. A week local civic leaders hope will re-emphasize the county's creed of Naturally Nice.
   "Several groups from Carter County and Elizabethton are taking on more beautification projects," said Pat Holtsclaw, who is with the Chamber, at a recent meeting of Chamber members to discuss plans for next week's event.
   Community Awareness Week is a time set aside for "Clean Teams" to work on beautification projects throughout the city and county.
   Several students groups from county and city school systems are leading the way with several community improvement projects on the table.
   Elementary school students will be cleaning their schools grounds and landscaping areas around the school buildings among other activities, according to Elizabethton City Schools Superintendent Dr. Judy Blevins.
   Elizabethton High School clubs are participating in several projects including the Clean Streams America. The EHS Ecology Club is representing the state this week at the National Youth Watershed Summit in Washington, D.C.
   County schools Superintendent Dallas Williams said his systems' 16 schools were also planning activities for the week. Planned projects included a creek bank cleanup and landscaping for the Stoney Creek and Hunter Volunteer Fire Departments at Unaka Elementary School.
   Happy Valley High School students enrolled in senior English are preparing to design service-learning projects in conjunction with Appalachia C.A.R.E.S. and AmeriCorps, said Williams.
   The projects will identify the needs of various communities in the area and are expected to be underway by mid-October. Projects will be designed, managed and implemented by the students, Williams added.
   Citizens can pitch in by sponsoring a Clean Team's efforts by donating $30, or an equivalent sum in materials the group needs, according to the Chamber.
   If a county resident has driven by an area and thought, 'Somebody ought to clean that up,' the Chamber is strongly encouraging citizens to form their own Clean Team to tackle litter removal and beautification in their neighborhood. Several civic clubs and businesses are creating Clean Teams and others are also beginning to form, Holtsclaw said.
   For more information about Community Awareness Week or to learn how to sponsor or create a Clean Team of your own, call the Chamber of Commerce at 547-3850.