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Volunteers clean up stretch near Dick & Willie Passage
'About 40 years' of trash has been collected
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Above and at left, collected tires and other trash line the side of the Dick & Willie Passage at the half-mile marker this week after a recent cleanup. (Bulletin photos by Mike Wray)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer

Volunteers are cleaning up about 40 years’ worth of trash on a hillside near V-C Drive around the Dick & Willie Passage?Jones Creek.

Lizz Stanley, executive director of Gateway Streetscape Foundation, said she and four 14-year-old boys removed 60 tires, 15 or 20 plastic roof vents, six or eight wood pallets, 26 bags of nonrecyclable trash and 400 pounds of metal Saturday.

“It’s an old dump,” Stanley said. “The folks that own this property, the Vaughns, are not responsible for this mess. They are working with us to get it cleaned up.”

The five volunteers worked about 71?2 hours Saturday, she said. “We got a lot done.”

“They did a great job,” she said of the boys.

Just as the volunteers finished for the day, Jane Bowman, a cyclist from Eden, N.C., who was using the trail, got off her bike, thanked them for cleaning up trash and tires, shook their hands and gave Stanley money to buy the boys dinner, Stanley said. “She was impressed with what Henry County is doing to make the area more beautiful.”

A cleanup will be held every Saturday until completion of the project, which involves cleaning up the hillside and picking up trash on some other areas around the trail, Stanley said. “I figure this will probably take three months,” she said.

More volunteers are needed. Anyone who wants to help should meet at the trail head near El Parral restaurant at 10 a.m. on Saturdays, or for more information, call Stanley at 634-4674.

Collected tires are being stockpiled until Bridgestone Tire employees can pick them up, Stanley said. Bridgestone recycles used tires as part of its “One Team, One Planet Spent” program.

Mike Amos, refuse director in Henry County, is having the collected trash disposed of, Stanley added.

She also noted that Andy Lash and a cycling club plan to take part in the cleanup project.

Gateway volunteers did four other cleanups in October and November — on Blackberry, Daniels and Beaver creeks and Martinsville Reservoir, Stanley said:

• 4.61 miles of Blackberry Creek, plus more than 2,000 feet of John Henry Road along an unnamed creek that flows into Blackberry Creek. Seventy-seven man-hours were logged, and 29 bags of trash, tires and other items were collected.

• More than 2,600 feet of Daniels Creek from Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School on Miles Road to west of McArthur Road on Daniels Creek Road. Thirty-seven bags of trash and two truckloads of recyclables were collected, and 80.5 man-hours were logged.

• More than 4,700 feet of Beaver Creek from the Valero gas station at the intersection of Kings Mountain Road and College Drive to the bridge crossing Beaver Creek at Redskin Drive (the road to the Martinsville Reservoir). “We logged 69.5 man-hours; picked up 36 bags of trash, 17 tires, assorted metal, (four-foot) fluorescent tubes, crates, store signs, advertising signs, landscape plant containers; and located a suspicious pipe dripping an oily substance into the creek,” states a summary provided by Stanley.

• Beaver Creek from a bridge at Redskin to and around the reservoir. “We hauled out a total of 19 bags, four tires, chair, metal posts with concrete bases, and other flotsam and jetsam. ... We cleaned the trail all the way to the end where the tape alerts hikers?fishermen that private property begins. We also cleaned the trail that can be accessed from the boat ramp and runs over toward the warden’s house and then up over the ridge ending at the bathrooms?picnic shelter. We logged 70.0 man-hours,” the summary states.


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