Our cleanup project at Tucker Creek in January 2022 proved a great success! We were gifted with three days of great weather (sunny, clear, and cold), which proved ideal for the cleanup effort at this illegal dumpsite off of the Highway 215 corridor near Balsam Grove.
Turnout was strong with groups of 15-30 volunteers showing up to pitch in each day, and many of them signing up to help out all three days. With the assistance of USFS personnel and their light machinery and local contractors from Cauble and Sons Grading with the big, long-armed track hoe, we were able to develop an efficient system of tackling cleanup projects on steep slopes. This combination of light machinery, block and tackle, and large nylon masonry bags worked wonderfully and will be a useful methodology for similar dumpsite cleanup projects in the future.
We were initially uncertain whether we'd be able to complete this project in just three days given the sheer amount of waste (layers and layers of tires, box frames, couches, household trash, construction materials, and more) and the technical difficulty of removing it from the steep slopes above Tucker Creek itself, and we're proud to say our efforts were successful. From the flats to the falls, we removed a whopping 45,400 pounds of trash and logged a total of 367 volunteer hours over the course of three days!
This was quite an achievement for the inaugural project of our Pisgah Cleanup Fund! Founded in Fall 2021, the Pisgah Cleanup Fund focuses on cleaning up illegal dumpsites across the Pisgah Ranger District. With the support of this fund, TPC will be able to move forward in remediating these ill-used areas of the forest, protecting vital waterways and landscapes, and restoring them to a more pristine state.
Thanks to all who made this project possible!
To those groups who were instrumental in developing the Pisgah Cleanup Fund:
The Cindy Platt Boys and Girls Club, Trails Carolina, Headwaters Outfitters, and Woody Platt and the Steep Canyon Rangers.
To all of our hardworking volunteers and collaborators from Headwaters Outfitters, Waterfall Keepers of North Carolina, Pisgah Climbing School, Cauble and Sons Grading, the USFS, and the Transylvania County Solid Waste Department.
See the Press Release here.