8-19-2016 9-08-57 AMBeing in the business of helping people understand the importance of caring for our world, we often hear the words “dominion” and “stewardship” brought up as referenced in the Bible. It seems there are differing opinions as to what these words mean as we apply them to our responsibility in caring for Planet Earth.

Scripture tells us that God is the creator of all things. He created the heavens and the earth, the waters and all creatures within, the birds of the air, the land and all that dwell upon it. Since the beginning of time, everything needed by man has been provided. Everything we need, and everything we’ve discovered or will discover in the future has been here since God created the world. As the creator, God is also the owner.

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Once man was created, God showed Adam all the creations of heaven and earth and gave man dominion over them all. What does that mean? The definition of dominion is “the power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority.” Wow! That sounds like we have complete control and can do whatever we want to do! Animals, plants, the air we breathe, the water we drink, are all under our authority! So if we choose to use them for our pleasure without care, we have that authority, right?

Parents have authority over their children; however, we would never say that parents have the right to treat their children any way they please, would we? Authority comes with great responsibility.

Then there is that second word – stewardship. Stewardship is the careful and responsible management of something trusted to one’s care. If we believe that God is the creator of all things, then stewardship includes the careful and responsible management of this earth and all that dwells upon it.

When we treat our environment with selfish entitlement, we are acting as if we are the owner. An owner is responsible to himself. A steward, on the other hand, is responsible to the owner. If we believe that God is the owner of all things, then we will answer to God for our care of all He has entrusted to us. If we spoil it, waste it, trash it, harm it, or pollute it, we are failing in our responsibilities as good stewards and will answer for our actions or inactions.

It has also been said that “God will make the earth new, so it doesn’t matter what we do.” I have a pretty easy-going personality, but that statements really upsets me! Only God knows for how many more years this planet must sustain life. How selfish it is to feel free to trash it at the expense of future generations!

It is good stewardship to be aware of what harms our environment and to do what we can to avoid those things. It is also good stewardship to be aware of what helps the environment and to do those things to make our lives better.

A few simple examples would be to recycle all we can to protect our natural resources for future generations. Recycling also provides jobs right here in this community. We can learn to properly handle garden and other chemicals to protect our land and water from poisons. We should care for wildlife by doing no unnecessary harm or plant gardens that attract and feed butterflies and birds. We have taken so much of their habitat; it would be kind to provide a bit in return. We also have a responsibility to protect those domesticated animals we have invited to share our lives.

Let’s learn and understand how littering can injure and kill wildlife, poison our water supply, and pollute the oceans. We can learn more about the importance of trees and all they do to provide clean air, pollution control, fresh fruits and nuts, homes for wildlife, cooling of the earth, and so much more. Knowledge is key to knowing how to protect them. Maybe we could plant a garden to raise fresh, healthy food for our families, or to help feed those less fortunate.

We may not be able to do it all, but we should all do what we can.

I believe God will smile as each good steward passes on this respect for His creations by teaching others, especially our children, to do the same.
By: Lynne Hart

8-19-2016 9-09-34 AM

8-5-2016 11-24-38 AMAPPRECIATION: (noun) gratitude, thankful recognition

KALB recently hosted an Appreciation Breakfast for our volunteer Commission and Board members, faithful friends, and financial supporters.

Our purpose was to make sure each person present recognizes the value we place on their partnership, and understands exactly what the return is on their time, in-kind, financial, and other support. Success is not always measured in dollars. We measure our success on what is accomplished with the dollars we are given. That success can only happen with community volunteer support.
When KALB measures our success using THAT yardstick, we are rich indeed!

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Leigh Patterson, KALB office manager, and I talk frequently about how much we appreciate and love our volunteers. The KALB Commission consists of volunteer board members who oversee the organization. These men and women are the foundation that keeps KALB on solid ground. Volunteer board members also make things happen through our Athens-Limestone Beautification Board and the Athens-Limestone Recycling Board.

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Even with these wonderful board members, there is so much more KALB accomplishes with community volunteer help. Here are some numbers from our last fiscal year that make us proud:

965 = Number of Volunteers
5,002 = Total Volunteer Hours
$100,000+ = Value of Volunteers in Dollars (using nationally-accepted value determined by Independent Sector)
18,000 lbs. = Trash Removed from Roadsides and River
3,217 lbs. = Recycled Materials Sorted from Trash

So, what do KALB volunteers do? EVERYTHING!

8-5-2016 11-25-22 AMOur fiscal year begins in October and we hit the ground running! It takes close to 100 volunteers to provide Clean and Green Event services to the Old Time Fiddlers Convention. You will find KALB volunteers handing out litter bags at the gates, picking up litter, providing opportunities for guests and vendors, and providing final cleanup the Sunday after the event.

Each year, in a cooperative effort with Limestone County 4H, KALB staff and volunteers visit every 5th and 6th grade classroom in Limestone County and Athens City schools. This allows KALB to reach nearly 1,500 students in 68 classrooms with a message of environmental stewardship. We also provide presentations for all age groups from preschool to adult in a variety of setting.
Sixty volunteers arrived early one April morning ready and willing to help clean up the Elk River. This year’s cleanup was another huge success, thanks to the men, women, and children who cared enough to make a difference where they could.

8-5-2016 11-25-31 AMOur Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO took place on April 30th. We could not have pulled it off without a large number of volunteers, some of whom were willing to stay from set up to tear down. They must truly believe in what the event hopes to accomplish, which is helping our community members of every age understand how their personal actions affect the local environment through exhibits, games, and hands-on activities.

There are so many more projects and activities within the KALB organization that offer volunteer opportunities, including our seedling giveaway, roadside cleanups, Adopt-A-Spot, Clean Campus program, our fundraisers, and more.

KALB volunteers come from all walks of life, come in all shapes and sizes, and range from youth to seniors. There is a place for everyone in the KALB organization. Come and discover how you can get involved. We promise you will be appreciated.

When you work with wonderful people, work does not feel like work at all.
By: Lynne Hart

7-16-2016 9-53-10 AM

7-16-2016 9-52-48 AMI’ve lived in Athens for 17 years, and it was most difficult for me to adjust to the hot, humid summers. I had to learn a whole new way of gardening after just about everything I planted failed to survive my southern brown thumb.

Over the years, my position has brought me into contact with people and websites that shed a great deal of light on where I was going wrong. I remained in my Northeast Ohio garden mode in my thinking, and that didn’t work here. Summers in Cleveland are not so hot, and humidity levels are lower. There is not nearly the amount of clay in the soils of northeast Ohio as we find here. So, I had to do some research to learn what would and would not grow in my new home city.

I have written articles on the importance of choosing native plants for landscaping, much of which I have applied with great success. Recently, I was introduced to another type of landscaping that takes into consideration the amount of water available, or lack of water. It is called xeriscaping.

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Xeriscaping is a method of using landscaping and horticultural strategies that minimize water use. This method can help property owners reduce their water use by one-third, which is very helpful in drought-prone areas such as the Tennessee Valley!

According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, plant selection in a xeriscaped garden may vary from area to area, but there are 7 basic principles that can be applied anywhere.

• Group plants by similar water use, as well as appearance.
• If sites are dry, choose as many plants with low water requirements as possible, such as some of the ornamental grasses, barberries, Chinese hollies, and junipers.
• Reduce the amount of what is officially referred to as “turfgrass” or lawn area. Turfgrass is the largest water user in landscaping. Use it only where necessary, or consider some of the newer, drought-resistant types.
• Use plenty of organic material (peat moss, pinebark, compost) in preparing the soil.
• Use about 4 inches (no more) of mulch (wood chips, shredded bark). Mulch reduces water use by slowing evaporation, and it adds organic matter to the soil as well as helps prevent erosion.
• Use efficient watering systems. For example, use a sprinkler that will target the areas that require water, and do not overspray onto rocky or paved areas.)
• Prune, fertilize, and divide plants regularly.
Before you begin, you will want to assess your garden site. By looking at the property, you may find ways of using water-saving landscape techniques. Look for dry or rocky areas, as well as areas where water might pool. You also want to note the amount of sun each area receives.
Once you have assessed the area, select plants and shrubs that do well in those conditions, and group them together. Plant selection will be one of the most important factors in whether or not your garden will survive long term. Here are more tips:
• Use only plant varieties that are well adapted to your locality and soil conditions. The wrong variety of plant may require greater amounts of fertilizer and water just to stay alive. Check with your local nursery, garden department, or Extension Service for suggestions. You can also research native plant varieties online.
• Group plants with similar water needs together. For example, group the vegetables requiring more water together in the garden to make the most of your watering.
• Choose moisture-loving plants for wet, poorly drained sites and drought-tolerant plants for dry, sunny areas.
• Select and plant drought-tolerant varieties that require minimal amounts of water.

Trees are also vulnerable to our weather conditions. When making your selection, be sure to choose species that do well in this area. Some good selections would include oaks, ginkgo, hackberry, southern magnolia, Chinese pistache, American holly, golden-rain tree, and pines.

In most of our neighborhoods, the lawn (turfgrass) is the most prominent vegetation. A beautifully manicured, green lawn can be the pride and joy of any homeowner. Turfgrass will withstand a rough and tumble game of football, absorb heat, and control erosion.

Turfgrass will also quickly suffer under drought conditions, and will consume more water than most all other plants. Therefore, the question that should be asked is “Do I have too much grass?”. Look at your property critically. Are there shady areas where grass is not doing well? Do you have grass growing among and around your shrubs? Do you have large patches of grass just because you can’t think of anything else to do with your property?

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Consider replacing turfgrass in areas which are difficult to maintain with organic mulch or ground cover. This will reduce the work involved, and will reduce the need for heavy watering.
Be sure to care for the turfgrass you do have properly. Check with your local Extension Office for information on proper fertilizer and lime application.
Rain Barrels

Adding rain barrels to your landscaping will also help conserve water. Our friend, Rhonda Britton, from Water Wheels is an expert on this topic. Look for a more in depth article on this topic in a future issue.
Happy Xeriscaping!
By: Lynne Hart

7-1-2016 2-09-26 PMThere is so much talk about regarding mosquitoes these days, especially with the threat of the Zika virus. Currently, all cases of Zika in the U.S. have been acquired during travel outside of the country; however, concern over disease-carrying (vector) mosquitoes has increased.

According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, there are about 60 different species of mosquitoes in Alabama. Some carry disease (vectors), some are nuisance species (bloodsuckers, but not vectors), and some are beneficial species. The beneficial mosquitoes actually feed on the “bad” mosquito larvae helping reduce their numbers.
To most of us, a mosquito is a mosquito, period. So how can we control mosquitoes around out home? The Extension Office offers these tips:
• Get rid of anything on your property that will hold water, such as tires, tin cans, bottles, tubs, etc.
• Clean roof gutters and drain flat roofs.
• Stock ornamental pools with mosquito-larvae-eating fish.
• Change the water in birdbaths, fountains, and troughs at least twice a week.
• Use plants that attract other insects such as dragonflies and certain aquatic beetles that feed on mosquito larvae.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, and empty them when not regularly used.
• Drain standing water and turn over unused wading pools and other containers that collect rainwater.
• Cover rain barrels with window screen to keep mosquitoes out.

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Chemical-Free Answer

Pesticides can be harmful to mosquitoes’ predators as well as the mosquitoes. There is one chemical-free method of defense against pesky mosquitoes: bats. I know some of you immediately thought about rabies and tangled hair!

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The truth is, bats are gentle creatures. If you leave them alone and let them fill their bellies with the bugs that bug you, they won’t be interested in you at all. If a bat ever does look like it’s aiming for your head, you probably have a bug flying near you that it wants for dinner. Scientists have tried to get bats to get into human hair without any success.

Bats groom daily and are very clean. Less than half of 1% of all bats actually have rabies. You are more likely to contract rabies from an unvaccinated dog or cat. However, that certainly doesn’t mean you should handle them. As with any wild animal, you must use caution and common sense.

Bats are incredible creatures and one of the most beneficial animals around! One small brown bat can feast on up to 1,200 insects in one summer night – 8,400 in one week and 36,000 in one month! Can you imagine what a family of bats could do to help reduce mosquitoes on your property?

Farmers love bats! They will feast on the insects that can cause damage to crops which helps reduce the cost of insecticides.

The next time you see a bat flying across the evening sky, remember those 1,200 mosquitoes that will be history by morning. Try to see them in a more positive light. Bats truly are misunderstood creatures.

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By: Lynne Hart

7-1-2016 2-09-57 PM

6-18-2016 10-57-42 AMIn an April issue of Athens Now, our Clean and Green article asked if you were smarter than our local 5th graders. We now have our answer!

Congratulations to Marcy Hamilton and Kathleen Cutting, who each answered all of the quiz questions correctly! Marcy’s name was drawn for the prize package, but Kathleen will receive a gift as well.

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Several people took the quiz and came close, but did not end up in the winner’s circle. That’s ok, because the purpose of this quiz was to get you thinking about the topics. Our winners may be just that smart, or they may have taken advantage of the ability to look up the answers. Either way, we now know what you DO know and what you may NOT know.

Here are the questions and the correct answers from the quiz:

1. If you leave litter under the bleacher seat at a sporting event, is that littering even though someone may be paid to come and clean up?
The answer is YES. It is never someone else’s job to clean up after us. We should all take responsibility for our own trash. 100% of respondents answered correctly.

2. How many times can glass bottles and jars be recycled without losing quality?
Glass can be recycled ENDLESSLY without losing quality. That is why I personally try to purchase items in glass containers rather than plastic. Plastic can be toxic and never goes away. 98% of respondents answered correctly.

3. What percentage of all plastic created makes its way to the ocean?
10% of all plastic EVER MADE makes its way to the ocean — 10% from the very first plastic item created to the last one created today. It is so very important to recycle every plastic bottle and jar so the materials can be reused in new products. 31% of respondents answered correctly.

4. If you find a sick or injured bird, is it ok to take it home to nurse back to health?
It is not ok, particularly if the bird is a raptor. These birds will imprint on the caregiver very quickly and then rely on humans for providing food, causing them to live out their lives in captivity. These birds will never be able to survive in the wild. If you find an injured bird, visit https://www.awrc.org/ and look for the “Found an Animal?” section of the page and follow the instructions. 93% of respondents answered correctly.

5. Approximately 40 species of snakes live in Alabama. How many of them are venomous?
There are 6 venomous snakes: Water Moccasin (or Cottonmouth), Copperhead, Coral Snake, Timber Rattler, Eastern Diamondback Rattler, and Pigmy Rattler. 62% of respondents answered correctly.

6. How many trees are saved from being destroyed for every ton of paper recycled?
17 trees are spared from being cut down for every ton of paper recycled. Our city and county schools recycled nearly 130 tons of paper products during this past school year. That is 2,210 trees spared in one year by our school systems alone! 60% of respondents answered correctly.

7. Once an aluminum can is recycled, how long will it take for it to become a fresh, new can on a store shelf?
In just 6 short weeks, a recycled aluminum can will be processed, formed, and back on the store shelves. 64% of respondents answered correctly.

8. Which of the following statements are true about native plants? You may choose multiple answers. A) They provide the right food for native insects, birds, and wildlife. B) They are adapted to the local environment and require less care. C) They will not attract non-native insects and wildlife which could disrupt the balance of the ecosystem. D) They will not become invasive and choke out your garden.
All 4 answers are correct! Two invasive plants, Kudzu and Chinese Privet, were both brought in from China – one for erosion control and one as an ornamental shrub. Both have become extremely invasive and troublesome. 90% selected answers A and B, but only 45% of respondents selected all four.

9. What very important pollinator is suffering from Colony Collapse Disorder?
Honey bees have been affected by this disorder, causing serious concern. Honey bees are one of our most important pollinators which we rely upon for our food production. 100% of respondents answered correctly.

10. Name three things that trees provide that make them vitally important to humans and our environment.
We received a variety of correct answers. Trees are literally the lungs of the earth, providing oxygen and removing carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air and water. Trees also provide food, shelter, help prevent soil erosion, and cool the earth by absorbing the sun’s heat. We also rely on trees for fuel and building materials.

Thanks to all who participated and congratulations to our winners! Watch for more quizzes and information by following us on Facebook!
By: Lynne Hart

6-18-2016 10-58-05 AM

6-7-2016 8-53-01 AMKeep Athens-Limestone Beautiful promotes a healthy environment. Part of creating a healthy environment is to promote healthy living. Our Duck & Run 5K and Fun Run not only raises funds for KALB projects and programs, it also promotes healthy activity.

I’d like to introduce you to our Duck & Run 5K and Fun Run Race Coordinator. Eric Patterson has been running for 9 years, and is extremely knowledgeable and experienced in the sport of running. More 5Ks than we can count have seen Eric pass the finish line. He finished the 2011 Boston Marathon, several 50K races, a 50-mile run, including finishing a 26.2 mile marathon in less than 3 hours.

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Eric and his wife, Leigh (our office manager), have been coordinating our Duck & Run event for 7 years. They took over from Tanjie Schrimsher, who created the event and started it on the road to success in 2004.

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The 2016 Duck & Run will be held on Saturday, September 17th. Runners will gather and start the race at Big Spring Memorial Park (the duck pond) in Athens. The race takes runners through historic neighborhoods and around the Courthouse Square, then back to Big Spring Memorial Park.
This race is a fundraiser for Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful. We are a free-standing 501(c)3 nonprofit and must raise almost half of our annual budget through fundraisers, memberships, donations, and sponsorships.

6-7-2016 8-53-30 AMStill on the Couch?

That’s OK! If running a 5K is on your bucket list, there is a program just for you. Eric leads a 5K Training Program through the City of Athens Parks and Recreation Department to help beginners work up to participation in a 5K (3.1 mile) race. Eric is a native of Limestone County, a member of the Fleet Feet Racing Team, and a Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) certified running coach.
“Many people try to train on their own,” Eric Patterson said. “Some are successful. However, training with a group increases accountability and increases the chance that you will stick to it and meet your goals.” No previous running experience is necessary, but please check with your physician prior to starting any exercise program.

A Success Story

Our own Leigh Patterson was diagnosed with diabetes about 6 months ago. Leigh began making lifestyle changes, including participating in her husband’s running program. “I changed my diet, but that alone was not enough,” said Leigh. “I started training with Eric’s 5K group, and in 10 weeks I literally came from the couch to finishing a 5K. I could not have done this without the constant encouragement of the group. I would have quit on my own.” Not only did she complete the 5K, but she has lost weight and her blood sugars are back under control.

Registration – 5K Training Program

Registration is currently open through June 30th. Kickoff meeting is July 7th and training will begin July 11th. Register for this training program through the City of Athens Parks and Recreation Department at 256-233-8740. For more information about the program, contact Eric Patterson at ericdpatterson@yahoo.com.

Registration for Duck & Run 5K and Fun Run
Registration is now open. Early registration is $20. Late and race day registration is $25. KALB members can receive a $5 discount when showing their current membership card. Visit www.KALBCares.com and click on the EVENTS tab for information and registration for this race.
By: Lynne Hart

6-7-2016 8-53-51 AM

5-20-2016 12-29-56 PMTest Your Knowledge and Win a Prize Package
Over the past few months, Leigh Patterson and I have taken an Environmental Jeopardy game into our Athens City and Limestone County Schools. Every 5th and 6th grade class participated to see who knew the most about the environment and the part we play in protecting or harming it.

Several of the same questions were asked at Earth Day recently as adults and students tested their knowledge in order to receive door prize tickets.
Now we’d like to present some of these questions to you! KALB has put together a prize package of items which we will give away to someone who correctly answers all of the questions. All correct entries will be placed in a drawing to win the prize.

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Once you’ve completed your answers, follow instructions at the end of this article to send us your entry.
OK, put your 5th grade thinking caps on, or just grab a 5th grader to help you!

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We will answer all of these questions and announce the winner in a future issue. All entries must be delivered or postmarked by June 4, 2016. Winning entry will be drawn no later than June 10, 2016.
MAIL ENTRIES: KALB Quiz, P.O. Box 1089, Athens, AL 35611
EMAIL Scanned Entries: KALBCares@gmail.com
Bring them to the KALB office at 125 East Street in Athens.

5-6-2016 10-19-02 AM

Last Saturday, over 1,000 guests came to KALB’s Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO held at Friendship Church. What a GREAT time was had by all who attended!

KALB is so grateful to the generosity of Friendship Church in letting us basically “take over” their facilities! Activities, exhibits, and animals spread from the outside grounds and through much of the church buildings! You could find critters that were microscopic in size, insects to hold, goats and alpacas to feed and pet, and Rosie, the beautiful horse from K.I.N. Stables to love on. The Alabama Wildlife Center was there with beautiful raptors to show off. We even had a special visit from Ludivine, the famous bloodhound from Elkmont. She strolled through giving hugs, licks, and paw shakes!

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I must say that, although this event on the surface appears to be for children, it is a great experience for adults as well. There is a great deal of information shared that is important to everyone. I learn something new every single time we host this Earth Day event. We are never too old to learn nor should we ever stop!

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One of our board members, Kay Kime, said she worked very hard to convince friends of hers to come to the event. They were hesitant, but they came. On the way out, they told Kay they would never miss another because it was one of the most informative events they had ever attended.

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So plan to attend next year. It will be held the last Saturday in April. If you think you might forget, watch for our 2017 Paws for the Environment calendar with all of our events noted. The top 12 winners of the Paws for the Environment Photo Contest will be featured. The calendar will be on sale this fall!
I will let the photos speak for themselves.
By: Lynne Hart

5-6-2016 10-19-52 AM

Earth Day & Outdoor Expo

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4-15-2016 4-11-57 PMCome celebrate with us!

On Saturday, April 30, 2016, Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful will host our annual Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO. It will be held at Friendship Church again this year from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Marbut Bend Nature Walk
Before you head to the celebration, take a guided walk at the Marbut Bend Walking Trail with Damien Simbeck from TVA. Damien is a bird expert and very knowledgeable about how that area came to be and the wildlife that call it home. Participants should meet at 7:30 a.m. at the Trail Head, which is located a short way west of the Elk River bridge on Hwy. 99. The trail is handicap accessible. Please wear comfortable shoes and use insect repellant if needed.

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After the nature walk, you will have plenty of time to bring the whole family to Friendship Church on Lucas Ferry Rd. in Athens to celebrate Earth Day beginning at 10 a.m. Admission is free and donations are greatly appreciated.

4-15-2016 4-12-30 PMOur main attractions this year will be raptors from the Alabama Wildlife Center (their first visit), the Tennessee Valley Zoo with animals to pet and feed, and Jim Swanner of KIN Stables and his horse Rosie. As always, children up to age 12 can make and take a variety of recycled crafts.

You will find vendors and exhibitors inside and outside with information, hands-on activities, and interesting and fun things to do and see. AMSTI will be there with microscopes to see water samples and plant life. The Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority will teach children and adults about aquifers by helping them build edible aquifers using ice cream, soda, and other yummy ingredients. Auburn University’s Entomology Department will bring lots of bug specimens and possibly roaches to race. You may even find edible insects to sample!

4-15-2016 4-12-40 PMDon’t worry, there will be lots of things to do, even if you’re not a fan of bugs! Learn more about recycling, test your knowledge of native birds, learn about the dangers of cigarette litter, find out about Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and get a $1/minute massage from HealthSource with all proceeds going to KALB. Sample some Starbucks coffee and ask for coffee grounds to add to your garden while they last, find out how to conserve water at home including the use of rain barrels, and so much more!

We could not have this great program if not for our generous sponsors. Our CHAMPION SPONSORS are Custom Polymers, PET, and Friendship Church. GUARDIANS are Legacy, Partners in Education, Redstone Federal Credit Union, Bank Independent, and Pepsi. PATRONS are Crews, Inc., Rep. Danny Crawford, Top Job Roofing and Construction, and HealthSource of Athens. FRIENDS are Clem Tire, Jacobs Technology, TVA, and Athens Now.

We hope you will come out and celebrate with us. Our world and our local environment are gifts we should cherish and protect. Let’s learn how together.
By: Lynne Hart

4-15-2016 4-12-48 PM

4-1-2016 11-41-16 AMSpring has sprung and, for some of us, thoughts turn to spring cleaning. Here are some tips that might help you during the process.

Easy Latex Paint Disposal
Many of us have partial cans of latex paint stuck in sheds and garages with no clue how to properly dispose of it. If we ever have another household hazardous waste collection here, chances are great that latex paint will not be included in items accepted. The reason is that in solid form, latex paint is not hazardous, and collecting it quickly uses up the funds needed for truly hazardous material collection.

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Here is what to do if you have partial cans of latex paint:
• If the paint is good and there is a usable amount, Habitat for Humanity ReStore may accept it for resale.
• For small amount of paint: Add kitty litter, shredded paper, or a consumer product for drying paint to the can. When the paint is completely dry, you can recycle the can at the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center.
• For large amount of paint: Line a cardboard box with a trash bag. Pour paint into the trash bag. Add drying materials such as those listed above. When the paint is completely dry, tie up the bag and put it in your regular trash. Recycle the paint can and the box.
• REMEMBER: Keep drying paint out of reach of pets and children.
Oil-based paint and paints such as Kilz must be disposed of at a household hazardous waste collection and should never be put into your household trash. Never put liquid paint of any kind in your household trash. It can be very damaging to trash collection equipment and roads.

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Shredded Paper
Is shredding old documents part of your spring cleaning? We often get calls asking if our recycling center accepts shredded paper. YES, and they welcome it!
• When recycling shredded paper, leave it in a plastic bag and place it in with mixed paper at the recycling center.
• Do not put loose shredded paper in the collection bins at the center. It can easily be blown about by the wind causing a serious litter problem.

Tire Recycling
Thanks to grants from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management received by Limestone County, tire recycling has been available to Limestone County residents for several years. The newest grant received is good through September 2018! Tires are NOT accepted at the recycling center. Here are county shed locations and drop-off times:
District 1 Shed: 22555 Elkton Rd, Athens, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
District 2 Shed: 24795 Pepper Rd., Athens, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
District 3 Shed: 14119 Ripley Rd., Athens, from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
District 4 Shed: 22155 Section Line Rd., Elkmont, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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Electronics Recycling
There have been recent changes to the electronics recycling program at our center. The cost of processing and shipping these items has increased and the center had to make the difficult decision to pass on that expense or discontinue taking these items. Here is what you need to know:
• Electronics are considered anything with a cord or batteries (not including large appliances)
• A $0.30/lb fee will be charged for all electronics brought it.
• No batteries of ANY KIND will be accepted.

Paper, Books, and Junk Mail
Our recycling center can recycle most any type of paper products that have not been soiled by food. If it tears, it’s recyclable!
Here is a list of some of the paper items accepted:
• Cardboard boxes
• Paperboard, such as cereal boxes
• Books, including hard-back and phone books
• Newspapers
• Magazines
• Office paper, including shredded
If you have questions about something you want to discard, but are not sure it can be recycled, contact the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center at 256-233-8746. Ruby McCartney, Plant Manager, and Keri Chalmers, Asst. Plant Manager, would be happy to help you.
By: Lynne Hart

4-1-2016 11-42-15 AM