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Plants and volunteers recognized at KPB’s Earth Day on Main

By Vered Kleinberger

KPB Board President

            Keep Pickens Beautiful hosted the first Earth Day on Main this past Saturday at their office, and everyone who joined in the celebration had a great time. The intention of the day was to thank the community for their support of KPB throughout the years, and that mission was accomplished.

            The weather was amazing and there was lots going on in town. KPB was happy to be a part of the festivities. Some of the day’s events included:

            •Giving away almost 100 pepper, tomato, and eggplant plants that their board members had grown from seed (if you were a plant recipient, please post photos of your fruiting plant later this season).

            •Raffling two fig trees donated by North Georgia Fruit Grower, a lemon tree donated by Cheryl Stancil and Greg Thomason, and two subscriptions donated by the Pickens County Progress.

            •Introducing people to Edible Jasper and sending them up Main Street to enjoy various gardens while stopping in to support the businesses offering Earth Day specials.

            •Celebrating with the groups who completed the Main Street Scavenger Hunt – this was not an easy task, but two amazingly dedicated groups found all of the answers.

•Meeting new and visiting with old friends – KPB is so grateful to the Pickens County community.

            Each year, Keep Pickens Beautiful awards an Adopt-A-Road volunteer with the Elaine Thomason Memorial Award who’s effort in keeping Pickens County clean goes beyond the call of duty.  Thomason was a life-long resident of Pickens County and an active member of The Pickens County Citizens for a Clean Community (CCC), later renamed Keep Pickens Beautiful. Thomason was instrumental in pioneering the Adopt-A-Road program. In March of 1999, the Elaine Thomason Memorial Award was created to honor her service in keeping Pickens County in pristine condition.

            This year, nobody deserved the Elaine Thomason Memorial Award more than Nancy LaChance, the Queen of AAR. In addition to doing an amazing job keeping Big Ridge Road clean, in the past few months, she has built the new Adopt-A-Road database and online reporting portal. This will enable KPB to better track the volume of trash collected, and it makes it easier for the AAR volunteers to report their pick-ups. Check out Nancy’s statistics:

            •1st pick-up was April 2016 – Carried 57 thirteen-gallon bags of trash off the roadside.

            •Number of months she has picked up Big Ridge since 2016: 68.

            •Number hours spent: 853.

            •Gallons of trash removed: 14,924 gallons.

            •Average number of bags per month: 15.73.

            •Item most likely to be thrown out on Big Ridge – Poppy Seed containers.

            In addition to the Elaine Thomason Memorial Award, two additional awards were given. KPB is grateful to everyone who plays a role in furthering the organization and its mission to beautify the Pickens community.

            Carol Opdenhoff has been involved with KPB for more than 20 years, both as a board member and as the office manager; she has truly been the heart of KPB. The KPB board and staff gifted her with a hummingbird feeder with the message of gratitude for her many years of service.

            Volunteers play an integral role in Keep Pickens Beautiful’s effectiveness. This year, KPB created a new award, the Star Volunteer Award, and presented it to Donnie Low and to Amber Goodrum for ‘being outstanding and awesome.’ KPB thanks all of the volunteers who have participated in their projects and programs throughout the years, and they look forward to meeting more community members on future adventures.

            Keep Pickens Beautiful hopes all of the attendees to the first Earth Day on Main celebration had a fun time, and they look forward to another exciting celebration next year.

            KPB has one more event scheduled for the 2022 Great American Cleanup. Join them this Saturday, April 30th from 10-12 as they clean up Camp Road. Don’t just comment on the roadside litter in the county – help make a difference, have some fun, and meet new friends. Watch the KPB website and Facebook page for details.

            For more information about Keep Pickens Beautiful,  visit

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