By: Leigh Patterson

It’s finally time to welcome in a new year. I am afraid 2020 is not a year that many of us will look back upon fondly. This past year has presented its own set of challenges. These challenges have affected our lives day by day. Some days it felt as if we were all on a sinking ship with no lifeboats. Although 2020 has had its difficulties and hard days, we have proven that we can move forward with goals and plans in mind and make necessary adjustments and changes as needed to be able to face each new day. Even still, we have no idea what is in store for us in 2021, and we can thank the year 2020 for teaching us that lesson for sure. There have been so many lessons learned throughout this year. We all learned to be flexible and to adapt to changes. We learned the meaning of “social distancing” and implemented it into our daily lives. Patience was learned through quarantining. Another lesson learned has been appreciation for the time spent with family and friends. We have had to limit our time and our visits with friends and family, especially elderly loved ones, which has been truly painful for all involved.

Here at KALB, the challenges that we faced as an organization pale in comparison to what some have gone through over the last year. We were able to navigate these challenges successfully, and we managed to have an overall good year. Though we were not able to host our annual Earth Day and Outdoor EXPO or Duck and Run 5K events last year, we still were able to host cleanup events, virtual Earth Day activities, our first Cash for Trash Challenge, the Wacky Quacky Ducky Derby, and a Household Hazardous Waste Collection (the first in 12 years!). Our annual membership drive was an overwhelming success, thanks to our members’ generosity. We had help from amazing volunteers, including our three volunteer boards, and those who helped with events or cleanups. We truly had many blessings to count last year.

MOVING FORWARD IN 2021

Moving forward with the new year, KALB has several events already on the calendar. We would love for you to join us for our cleanup events, and for you to take advantage of our Household Hazardous Waste Collection this spring! Here are some of the events we have coming up in the next few months:

3rd ANNUAL CLEAN UP AT SWAN CREEK WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA -
Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday - Monday, January 18, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Join KALB as we clean up this area near the river. KALB will provide trash bags, gloves, vests, and litter grabbers. Meetup location will be at the intersection of Lucas Ferry Road and Harris Station Road. Call 256-233-8000 or email KALBCares@gmail.com if planning to attend or with questions. Masks and social distancing will be required when with a group.

TRASH ATTACK AND ELK RIVER CLEANUP - March 6, 2021
KALB invites all interested citizens to enlist the help of friends, family, clubs, and other groups to help clean up litter from Limestone County. KALB will provide trash bags, gloves, litter grabbers, food, and more. More details to come!

HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION - April 10, 2021
Our 2020 collection was such a huge success that we are holding another event in the spring! Start gathering your household chemicals for proper disposal. This includes cleaning solutions, auto fluids, pool chemicals, fertilizers, insect repellants, rat poisons, paints, and more. More detailed information will be forthcoming closer to event time. Watch this paper and our Facebook page for details. Location to be determined.

These are just a few of the events that we are looking forward to in 2021. If changes need to be made, we are ready to be flexible and navigate any challenges that may come our way thanks to all that we have learned over the last year. We invite you to join us in our continued efforts to make Athens and Limestone County cleaner, greener, and more beautiful. From the staff at KALB, we wish you a happy, healthy, and safe new year!
By: Leigh Patterson
Executive Coordinator - Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful

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