There is a new initiative in Walnut Cove that is scheduled to take off on Sat., March 17—“Clean the Cove.” The organizer, Adam Flinchum, hopes that this effort to clean up the streets of the town will become an annual event. It is set to take place, rain or shine.
Volunteers are asked to come to Fowler Park in downtown Walnut Cove on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. to register to help with the trash pickup. They will be given gloves and a trash bag and assigned a route. Due to the number of people who could potentially turn out to help, neon vests are not available to be provided, although volunteers are welcome to bring their own.
There will be water/snack stations set up in four places for workers: Food Lion parking lot, Fowler Park, beside Tuttle Hardware and at the Cove Grill. Workers must sign a release that they work at their own risk. Youth under the age of 16 are not allowed to participate unless they are chaperoned by a responsible adult. Signs have been made to alert traffic that “Clean the Cove” is in progress and that volunteers will be on roadsides.
Although the event is technically from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., Flinchum does not believe it will take that long to clean the town. With enough volunteers, it is estimated that a few hours would be sufficient.
However, Flinchum—a professional chef—invites all participants to come back to Fowler Park at 5 p.m. for free chicken stew and drinks. He hopes to have live music as well. If not, he says, there will be music playing through a system for entertainment.
Flinchum, a Walnut Cove native, says that he first got the idea for this event after a trip to New Jersey. While up there, he noticed that the roadsides were unusually full of litter. He recalls feeling glad that Walnut Cove did not have that problem.
However, when he returned home, Flinchum noticed that the downtown streets and the arteries leading into town did indeed need to be tidied. So he got busy planning “Clean the Cove” to ensure that the town’s roadways were free from trash and debris.
After approaching the Town of Walnut Cove to get permission and acquiring the proper permits, Flinchum began soliciting help from local folks. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Many businesses, churches and individuals have pledged supplies and given donations for the kickoff of “Clean the Cove.” A Town of Walnut Cove Public Works employee has even volunteered to take the bags of trash to be disposed of.
No matter how many people turn out to lend a hand in this initial trash pickup effort, Flinchum is optimistic. “I’m going to try to do it every year,” he says. “Every year it will grow. Our little town needs it.”