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Operation TLC seeks volunteers for cleanup

Litter along the river is a problem for many areas on the Ohio. Each year, crews of volunteers walk along the banks cleaning up the debris.

Two women, Billie Smith and Taunya Wilson, started an organization to actually work on cleanup and beautification of the area.

“I was returning to the area after 35 years from Atlanta, and we just decided to do something about it,” Smith said.

Smith met Wilson, who also wanted to do something to clean up the area, and Operation TLC was created.

The women met with city officials and because everyone was so supportive, they decided to organize it into a non-profit organization.

“Along with creating litter awareness, we also try to beautify,” Smith said. “We put up a new decorative road sign and planters at Goodwill.”

One of their goals is to get decorative road signs throughout Chesapeake.

At the Proctorville Fire Department, they placed two benches and three whiskey barrel planters for flowers.

“We were also instrumental in creating a master plan for the corridor between Chesapeake and Proctorville with the help of Doug Cade at E.L. Robinson,” Smith said. “Our county commissioner helped us with that and the trustees. We have a master plan now, and that means we can apply for grants to get sidewalks, beautification.”

For the third year and the second time this year, Operation TLC will be cleaning up the area between Chesapeake and Proctorville.

“We adopted four miles between the Sixth Street Bridge and the 31st Street Bridge and if we have enough volunteers we would like to go off to other areas between Chesapeake, Proctorville and Rome,” said Billie Smith, one of the organizers.

They will meet at Chesapeake Community Center on Ohio 7 at the picnic shelter at 9 a.m. Saturday morning. Donuts, coffee and bottled water will be available for the volunteers.

They will be working on the cleanup until noon.

For more information, call Smith at (740) 886-7816 or Wilson at (740) 886-5456.