Black Mountain spring cleaning set for April 6

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News
Black Mountain Beautification Committee member Tracy Munn participates in a litter sweep last fall.

With winter in the books and April approaching, Black Mountain is due for a spring cleaning.

Dozens of volunteers will gather at the lower parking lot of the Town Square at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 9 for one of two annual litter sweeps organized by the Black Mountain Beautification Committee.

Each year, many of the committee’s 60-plus members meet in the fall and spring to pick up trash found along roadways and other areas in town.

“We also welcome help from other community groups, such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and church groups,” said committee member Rhonda Reedy. “On average we have about 30 volunteers spread throughout the town.”

The beautification committee will set up in the parking lot and provide volunteers with trash bags, gloves and  bottles of water before directing volunteers to a specific location. The sweep runs until 12 p.m.

“We focus on areas within town limits, like downtown, Lake Tomahawk and the greenways,” Reedy said. “However, if groups want to focus on a particular area they’re welcome to do that as well.”

The committee co-chair, Lyndall Noyes-Brownell, picked up trash along N.C. 9.

“We picked up five bags of trash between (Phil’s Bar-B-Que Pit) and the railroad tracks,” she said. “People thanked us for picking up trash as they drove by.”

The litter sweep last spring had a big impact, she continued.

“That little contribution of an hour and a half made a huge difference,” Noyes-Brownell said. “Seeing a clean roadside, free of litter, makes the town more inviting.”

Typically, around 30 people volunteer for the sweeps, according to Reedy.

“We have a beautiful, welcoming town and cleaning up litter that has accumulated throughout the winter is a way to make it even more enjoyable for residents,” Reedy said. “We all want to live in a place we enjoy and that includes not having our amazing views marred by litter.”

The sight of volunteers picking up trash can also make people think before littering, she continued.

“We hope this discourages people from littering to begin with,” she said.

The Black Mountain Beautification Committee is a nonprofit organization that was formed in 2000 with the mission to improve the aesthetics of the town. Members contribute thousands of volunteer hours every year caring for planters in public spaces and working on projects like designing and maintaining the planters downtown. The committee’s in-kind contributions total tens of thousands of dollars annually.