Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

April 4, 2013

Taking PRIDE

Boyd and Carter counties now part of cleanup effort

ASHLAND — Community spring cleaning projects have been promoted by PRIDE — Personal Responsibility In a Desirable Environment — since the organization was created in 1997 by U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-5th, and the late Gen. James Bickford, then the secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection under Gov. Paul Patton.

However, it was not until all of Carter County and most of Boyd County were added to Rogers’ district by the congressional redistricting plan approved by the 2012 Kentucky General Assembly that residents of the two counties were able to take advantage of the spring cleanup and the many other positive programs promoted by PRIDE.

April is PRIDE Spring Cleanup Month and local coordinators have been appointed in both counties to promote and coordinate local cleanup activities. Marion Russell has been named the Ashland PRIDE coordinator and Shelia Lambert will coordinate activities in Catlettsburg. In Carter County, Jason Carroll and Chassi Diamond are the PRIDE co-coordinators in the eastern part of the county, while Kimberly King is coordinator in Olive Hill.

“If you want your community to look its best, and if you like to spend time outside with friends and family, then answer the call for volunteers when your PRIDE coordinators announce Spring Cleanup events,” said Tammie Wilson of PRIDE. The theme on the free volunteer T-shirts this year is “Be a PRIDE Champion: Knock Out Litter.”

Among the activities slated for this corner of Kentucky are free dump days at Big Run Landfill in Princess from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 25 through 27 and a free e-scrap event on the same days at the landfill. To learn more, call Steve Sturgill at (606) 739-4134. Those days give area residents the opportunity to properly dispose of junk and trash free of charge. That alone should encourage residents to rid property of unsightly debris.

While Ashland and Westwood remain in U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie’s Fourth Congressional District, PRIDE activities include all of Boyd County. While other April cleanup events have yet to be scheduled in Ashland, Catlettsburg and Carter County, we are confident they will be because good people with a history of making good things happen are coordinating the PRIDE activities.

PRIDE coordinators are volunteers appointed by mayors and judge-executives. They work with the PRIDE staff to organize cleanup activities, recruit volunteers and track cleanup results.

To volunteer for the Spring Cleanup in Ashland, call Russell at (606) 329-2007. In Catlettsburg, call Lambert at (606) 922-8304. In Carter County, call Carroll or Diamond at (606) 474-5366 or King at (606) 286-5533 or email klhoggking@yahoo.com.

Since its creation, PRIDE has had a tremendous impact on reducing this region’s litter problem and eliminating unsightly and illegal dumps that are a health hazard. It also has replaced many “straight pipes” that dumped untreated household waste directly into nearby streams with septic tanks and other sewage treatment systems.

The 42 counties that make up the PRIDE region are much cleaner today than they were in 1997, but the work was not done. There are still too many illegal dumps in this region and litter continues to create a negative image of this region for many visitors and outsiders. But times are changing, and because of PRIDE, more people is this region are taking pride in their communities and working to keep them looking their best.

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