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County-wide cleanup to live up to name

Lawrence County’s first ever county-wide cleanup day promises to reach from one end of the county to the other — and then some.

Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District Director Dan Palmer said he anticipates, given the initial figures provided to him by the 30 participating groups, that as many as 750 Lawrence Countians will have a hand in the first-ever county wide cleanup day organized by his agency.

Palmer said the community response has far exceeded his initial expectations.

“I thought if I had 150 it would be great,” Palmer said.

The list of participating groups includes New Hope United Methodist Church in the Proctorville area, the village of Chesapeake officials, Fayette Township trustees, Perry Township trustees, Wayne National Forest and the Lawrence County chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons.

Eighty-eight people in the Dawson-Bryant Elementary community have pledged to cleanup the portion of State Route 243 between the school and Zoar Hill.

Principal Eric Holmes said the school’s participants include bus drivers, teachers, cooks and parents. Student participation is being limited to fifth-graders although some younger siblings may take part.

“With the appearance of a lot of debris on 243, we felt like it didn’t represent our community very well,” Holmes explained. “We want to have an impact and want to do everything we can not only to clean up our community but also to make people understand it is not a good thing to litter. And we want to set a good example for our children.”

Palmer and SWMD Enforcement Officer Steve Hileman attended the Lawrence County Commission meeting Thursday and provided county officials with an updated list of participants.

“We appreciate what you’ve done putting this together,” Commissioner Doug Malone said. “It makes you proud of the whole community.”

Palmer said it is not too late to sign up to take part but he could not guarantee a cleanup day T-shirt to new groups.

The SWMD has gotten a community service award from the Tecumseh district of the Boys Scouts.

The award was presented during a banquet Tuesday at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth.