ASHE COUNTY — More than 300 volunteers weathered the elements as they participated in Keep Ashe Beautiful’s semi-annual litter sweep Friday and Saturday, Oct. 4 and 5.

Collectively, Keep Ashe Beautiful volunteers — local residents, businesses, organizations, service clubs and churches — filled more than 500 bags of litter from the county’s roadsides, picking up tires, exhaust pipes, sofa cushions, at least one mailbox and more common trash items throughout the weekend, according to a statement from KAB Executive Director John Cannon.

“Our litter sweep this fall was well attended, with volunteers of all ages collecting bags of litter,” Cannon said in the statement.

Teams for this year’s fall litter sweep included the following: Ashe Early College, Ashe County High School ROTC, Ashe County Democratic Party, Bald Mtn/Buck Mtn neighbors, Boondocks Brewing, United Chemi-Con, Emily and Kelley Edmonson, First Baptist Church, Fleetwood Falls, Friends of KAB, GLAD of Lansing, McFarland Publishing, Midway Baptist Church, Parish of the Holy Communion Episcopal Church, Sons of Confederate Veterans and The Rovers.

Throughout the weekend, volunteers could be seen sporting bright yellow shirts and safety vests as they trekked the roads of Ashe County. After litter was collected and bagged, it was then readied for the N.C. Department of Transportation to pick up along sweep routes.

Boondocks Brewing and The Hotel Tavern were two of several local businesses which assisted in the event, providing food discounts, as well as Food Lion, which provided reusable grocery bags to assist in a local effort to eliminate plastic in Ashe County’s waste stream, Cannon said.

Ingles and Dollar General of West Jefferson provided bottled water and snacks to volunteers. Local businesses also contributed t-shirts, print materials, signage and public service announcements, including Creative Printing and K&K Stitch and Screen.

“Keeping litter off our roads not only keeps Ashe County beautiful, but also assists in attracting new businesses, residents and visitors to our community,” Cannon said.

Keep Ashe Beautiful is a volunteer-based, nonprofit organization with a mission to educate and inspire individuals to take action every day to improve and beautify the community environment.

“We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision,” Cannon said in the statement.

For more information about Keep Ashe Beautiful, visit their Facebook page @KeepAsheBeautiful or contact keepashebeautiful@gmail.com.

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