On a brisk Spring Saturday morning a couple of groups from local communities assembled on the banks of East Lynn Lake to help reduce the amount of garbage that has washed downstream and onto the lake property.
This annual event was organized by a group of East Lynn Rangers and Maintenance Workers consisting of Zack Abbott, Jay Davis, Jason Kelly, Joe Hammond and Dave Blankenship who solicited volunteers, trash bags and the cleanup lunch.
Volunteers came from two groups; the Wayne County High School JROTC Detachment from Wayne County W.Va. and the Boy Scouts of America Troop 62 from Barboursville, W. Va. This group of around 40 young men and women dedicated a combined 216 hours of community service, collecting 165 bags of garbage and debris weighing a whopping 5000 pounds.
The Boy Scouts' Scoutmaster, Mike Lowery stated, "Our work here is not only community service hours, but also payment for the ability to use the facilities at Lick Creek." Another of the scout leaders was none other than our Huntington District Commander, Colonel Philip Secrist. He was camped with his son's troop and also contributed to the overall success of the cleanup. The Boy Scouts focused their efforts on the base of the dam.
The Wayne County High School JROTC Detachment was led by their Commander Colonel Donald Rutherford and First Sergeant Johnny Abbott. The cadets took a pontoon boat manned by Zack Abbott and Dave Blankenship to clean up the shoreline of East Fork of Twelve Pole Creek. "The detachment First Sergeant Johnny Abbott is my dad and he's supported this effort with his cadets for the past 10 years," said Ranger Zack Abbott.
In all, the cleanup was a tremendous success by building partnerships with the local community. It provided an example of environmental responsibility for the scouts and cadets enhancing resiliency in stewardship of our public lands and resources.