Another successful Great American Cleanup in Clemmons

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 4, 2019

By Adam Harrison

Spring has finally started to take hold in the Triad, and with it comes many opportunities for spring cleaning, not just around the house, but in our community as well.

Saturday’s Great American Cleanup event in Clemmons brought several groups together to help pick up trash. Areas cleaned were focused on our local creeks and other waterways, as part of the annual Forsyth Creek Week. Representatives from Hayward Industries and Battery Watering Technology joined three student clubs from West Forsyth High School (Interact, Key Club and Science Honor Society) to clean along several key areas. In all, 60 people helped the cause.

While Hayward helped clean in and around Stadium Drive, and Battery Watering handled areas around Holder Road, West Forsyth’s students helped clean around and behind the Westwood Village Shopping Center and the Lowe’s Foods/Staples area. A total of 92 bags of trash were collected, weighing almost 1,000 pounds in total.

The impact of cleanup events such as this are evident to adults. The feelings of the more seasoned volunteers were summed up perfectly by Scott Pugh of Hayward: “If we don’t clean it up, who is going to do that?”

The biggest impressions, however, were made on the students in the group, who are learning how to make an impact and better their communities. “It makes me feel good, because we are cleaning up,” said Jhyrah Delapp of West Forsyth’s Key Club. “But also bad because people come all the way out here to throw it out when there is a trash can right around the corner. It kind of shows how bad people are at throwing away their trash.”

What exactly did everyone find out there? Mostly the usual. “Glass bottles and cans,” said 8-year-old Reagan Lambert, who was accompanying Battery Watering. “It was a lot.”

Forsyth Creek Week has taken place in the Triad for several years now, and one of its missions is to spread a message of water runoff safety. As the event continues to grow, it will continue to be important to get the word out about events such as this annual cleanup. “I didn’t know of anything like it until (our) company decided to participate, and I was happy to help out,” said Leslie Rierson of Battery Watering Technology.

Many don’t stop to consider the effects trash near our creeks and streams has on the overall health of our local environment. “Whenever it rains, all this trash would probably go into the nearest river, drain and clog up all of our drainage infrastructure,” said Haytham Elkhair of the Key Club.

This is exactly the type of thinking Creek Week hopes to instill in our community’s collective consciousness.

Those who missed out on this year’s Great American Cleanup will soon have another opportunity to help clean up Clemmons. The annual Community Spring Cleanup will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 27, at the Public Works Department at 3800 Dillon Industrial Drive. Sign in will start at 8 a.m., with breakfast served and road assignments given at 8:30. Lunch will be provided, as well as giveaways and other fun planned.