The Tennessee Department of Transportation and U.S.D.A. Forest Service are teaming up to host a Nobody Trashes Tennessee cleanup of the Ocoee Scenic Byway on Friday, Nov. 6 and Saturday, Nov. 7. The Ocoee River Scenic Byway is a roughly 20-mile section of U.S. 64 in the Cherokee National Forest in Polk County between Parksville Lake and Ducktown.
The multi-day cleanup is an opportunity for the agencies, as well as volunteers from the public, to remove roadside litter along the byway in the name of the department’s Nobody Trashes Tennessee litter prevention campaign.
Volunteers will meet each day for an 8:30 a.m. safety meeting at the Ocoee Ranger District Station, 3171 U.S. 64 in Benton.
If interested in volunteering for the cleanup, contact Mike McClanahan with TDOT’s Highway Beautification Office at 615-741-0803 or email@example.com.
Volunteers must complete a liability waiver and bring a face mask to be worn at all times during the cleanup. Additionally, volunteers will be broken into smaller groups and will be assigned to clean a zone of the route. Volunteers are encouraged to wear closed-toed shoes, long pants and sunblock. In an effort to reduce touchpoints, water will not be provided during the event. TDOT will provide cleanup and safety supplies, and each volunteer will receive a Nobody Trashes Tennessee t-shirt and/or water bottle in appreciation for their efforts.
“This cleanup is not only a safe way for Tennesseans to make a difference in their community and enjoy the outdoors, but to help improve the visual and environmental quality along the Ocoee Scenic Byway,” said TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright.
The Ocoee River Scenic Byway is the first National Forest Byway in the country, and a federally designated scenic route. It runs along roughly 20 miles of U.S. 64 in Polk County, through the Cherokee National Forest and along a gorge formed by the adjacent Ocoee River. The Ocoee Scenic Byway offers "inspiring scenic views and numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation." Canoe and kayak slalom events during the 1996 Olympic Games took place at the Ocoee Whitewater Center, located along the route.
Ocoee District Ranger Mike Wright added, “This cleanup is a great way to engage the public to actively participate in keeping our unique section of highway clean and safe. The Ocoee Scenic Byway allows visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of our forest as they travel throughout the region and events like this demonstrate the deep pride our community has for this special place.”
Nobody Trashes Tennessee has served as TDOT’s statewide litter prevention campaign since June 2017. The campaign is meant to spread awareness about the problem of litter and encourage anti-litter behavior. The public is encouraged to follow the campaign via its social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media pages, and by visiting the campaign website at https://nobodytrashestennessee.com/.