A few weeks ago, Times-News was contacted by a gentleman who described himself as a nature enthusiast who spent a lot of time on nature walks. One of his regular walks was along South Fork Catawba River under the Laboratory Road Bridge in Lincolnton. He had noticed a large amount of trash along the riverbank, in the river and vulgar graffiti painted on the bridge. He had hoped that a story could be written to garner support to clean up the area.

Enter Patty Korn, the current president of Keep Lincoln County Beautiful. It didn’t take long for volunteers of KLCB, George Fischer and Jim Putnam to investigate the site. The volunteers picked up a large NCDOT bag of trash along both trails, the main trail and the trail to the bridge.

“The trash that's around the tree in the water will have to be collected by a kayaker,” Korn said. “I've informed two people I know who own kayaks and live in Lincolnton about this. I'm not sure how soon they will be able to get this.”

Korn also emailed the NCDOT contact for bridges in Lincoln County about cleaning up the graffiti because it’s offensive and can be seen by the public.

This week, Greg Nance who is the engagement manager for the Catawba Riverkeeper and an avid kayaker “slid” over to the area and picked up a total of 125 pounds of trash from the river. He promised to keep an eye on the area and clean it as needed.

The graffiti still hasn’t been removed, but at least the toxic trash has been removed all thanks to an email and a few telephone calls.

Korn said that Keep Lincoln County Beautiful can loan community members litter pickup tools (grabbers) to help keep areas clean. Having an organization like Keep Lincoln County Beautiful as well as people like Korn, Fischer, Putnam and Nance are a gift to the county. Blaming the homeless and drug addicts for the problem is all fine and good, but that doesn’t help with the trash. It takes a community to help keep Lincoln County beautiful.

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