Cullasaja River Gorge Cleanup | Franklin & Highlands NC

group of 20 volunteers from Franklin NC
On Saturday, April 13th a group of 50 volunteers comprised of a diverse group of citizens from the Franklin & Highlands area joined forces to cleanup the beautiful Cullasaja River Gorge’s roadside and riverbank.
This initiative is one of the Highlands Chamber of Commerce’s ongoing annual projects to help keep our natural assets clean. This takes place every spring during the NCDOT’s clean sweep week.

This year, Venture Local Franklin members, Franklin Chamber of Commerce staff/board members,  Stay And Play In The Smokies, and other dedicated citizens of Franklin joined in to make an even bigger impact on this stretch of the gorgeous”Mountain Waters Scenic Byway“. Twenty volunteers were representing Franklin.

“Franklin & Highlands market this same stretch of scenic highway for tourism and recreation purposes, and its very important for both communities to keep the roadsides of Highway 64 as beautiful as the natural assets that surround them. So we decided to reach out to Jennifer Smathers at the Highlands Chamber Visitor Center to join forces.” – Matt Bateman, Venture Local Franklin/Stay And Play In The Smokies.

“One of VLF’s goals is to continue to reach out to other groups and entities within Franklin and beyond, so we can work together on moving Franklin forward in a positive direction” – Matt Bateman
The combined effort bagged litter from just above Cullasaja Falls, all the way up to the town limits of Highlands.  Over 100 bags were filled by volunteers and hauled away by the U.S. Forest Service.

Main Street Coffee & Tea in downtown Franklin donated coffee for the volunteers of Franklin, while Bill & Sharon Van Horn donated bagels from Dills Creek Bagel Co. also of Franklin.

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