Sevierville Middle School starts the summer with a cleanup effort

Jun. 05, 2014 @ 04:15 PM

On Wednesday morning, Sevierville Middle School teachers and administrative staffers fanned out to pick up litter.

In an effort coordinated by Keep Sevier Beautiful, about 40 people from the school helped beautify Sevierville City Park, the Greenway, portions of Veterans Boulevard, Eastgate Road and Collier Drive.

“We were trying to find a way for our school to give back to the community,” said Principal Donna Rolen. “We’ve done some benefits to help some people in need at the school, but this was the first time we’ve done organized activity for the general public, to give back that way.”

The activity took place on the last teacher in-service day. “We donated two hours of in-service time to this project,” Rolen said. “I told the staff it was a team-building activity, and a way to get out in the community. Anytime we act together as a faculty, we get closer.”

“They wanted to do an area that would have a good impact on the community,” said Keep Sevier Beautiful Executive Director Laura Howard. “I suggested the park, because it reaches so many people.”

Howard’s organization regularly works with volunteer groups like the one from Sevierville Middle.

“We can coordinate groups of any size,” Howard said, “whether it’s individuals or large groups. We do everything from pickups to playground restorations to plantings.”

Participants received T-shirts. “Litter is unbearable,” they read, with a cartoon bear standing in for the letters B-E-A-R.

“That goes with our school team,” said Rolen. “We’re the Sevierville Cubs.”

kburns@themountainpress.com