Spring sprung unusually early in Stokes County this year and with its arrival, so did interest in cleaning up the streets of Walnut Cove.
Adam Flinchum travels the country where he sells gems that he has discovered and polished. After a recent trip to New Jersey, he noticed how littered the streets were. He was surprised to realize upon returning home that Walnut Cove was on its way to having a similar problem. So he organized a clean-up event in the community by approaching the Town Manager and Town Council. They said yes!
Read More About The Planning Here : “Clean the Cove” set for Saturday, Stokes News, by Leslie Bray-Brewer, March 13th, 2018
Clean the Cove was a perfect opportunity for The Lilies Project to plant flowers in the community and engage with new a wider range of people within the community. Although we have been advocating for coal ash cleanup for numerous years now, our group has consisted of directly impacted citizens for the most part. We often meet on a Sunday afternoon and those times do not work for everyone. Any organization faces the question of how do we engage the broader community, even if it that is just a few miles down the road. Literally cleaning up our environment seemed like a perfect opportunity for a grant that is focused on finding new solutions for cleaning up our environment.
The cleanup was a huge success. Local organizations donated supplies and materials. The newly annexed Walnut Tree provided water and snack stations around town. Adam organized various routes leading into town and through the area. About thirty community members came together and collected over 1200 pounds of trash in one morning. We left with the opportunity to collect trash farther beyond the town's borders.
This event was also an opportunity to reach out to local organizations that donated native plants to the town to help enhance the local area. This gave these groups that have historic connections to Walnut Cove a new way to become engaged and enhance their outreach to the broader community. Community members took part in planting them during the chicken stew, which was prepared by Adam, who is also a chef.
We planted a collection of native plants donated by Old Salem Museum and Gardens and Paul J. Ciener Botanical Gardens. Thank you to both institutions. These are wonderful places that we should all frequent for a better understanding of our history and also what ongoing transformation can bring.