The Buzz: What folks said about Pickin’ Up Tennessee


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Pickin’ Up Tennessee combines music and litter effort
By Emily Stroud, WBIR-NBC (Channel 10) Knoxville, July 15, 2013

Excerpt:  Here’s a number for you: 23 million pounds. That’s how much litter TDOT says is picked up along Tennessee roadways each year. One Tennessee man is helping in a small way and a big way.

“I see it walking, I see it riding public transit,” Eric McAnly said. He sees litter. “If I know there’s a trash bag or a trash can nearby then I’ll pick it up but I’m not going to put it in my pocket,” he said.

On a recent day off from work, Eric McAnly brought his own bag because he was making a point to clean up litter at bus stops in Knoxville. He’s disappointed that a lot of the litter could have been recycled instead of tossed on the ground.

Wilson sheriff’s camera has eye on litter
by Andy Humbles, Wilson County beat, The Tennessean, July 3, 2013. 

Growth in Wilson County has a downside — more litterbugs.

Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan stepped up efforts to investigate illegal dumping and littering and even purchased video equipment to catch the illegal dumpers. The office would not say how they plan to use the equipment.

“I want to eliminate that kind of behavior because it is senseless,’’ said Capt. Kent Beasley, who organizes two crews of inmates who go out most weekdays to pick up trash. Tire dumping in certain areas of the county has been especially problematic. Several weeks ago a work crew discovered about 150 tires dumped on Quarry Road, Beasley said.

Roads and areas around boat docks and recreation areas around Old Hickory Lake are often trouble spots for litter and illegal dumping where it isn’t uncommon for inmate crews to collect 40-50 trash bags of trash in an outing, Beasley said.

Rural and back roads can be grounds for larger dumping. Another byproduct of growth is a reduction in rural areas, which has made larger dumping more concentrated, police said.

A sheriff’s department work crew recently picked up 30 large trash bags of litter along a stretch of Saundersville Ferry Road near Old Hickory Lake in West Wilson County. When inmate crews hit the street, “there is no reason we can’t pick up 800 pounds of litter in a day,’’ Beasley said.

Some groups and organizations help with clean-up efforts and raise awareness.

Wilson County’s Shutes Branch Recreation Area was one of the stops for Pickin’ Up Tennessee, a campaign that scheduled 20 community cleanup efforts around the state in June. The cleanups were accompanied by different music artists to provide a soundtrack for 20 tour videos.

About 15 bags of trash were picked up at Shutes Branch, organizers said.

“There needs to be education as well,” Bryan said, “and we’ve tried to reach out to the younger generation why they shouldn’t throw their garbage out the window.”

Cosmic rockin’ boogie
By Dub Joiner, The News Observer (Blue Ridge, GA), July 1, 2013

excerpt: On June 26, three members of the band Playin’ On the Planet were filmed playing some of their “cosmic rockin’ boogie grass” music alongside the Ocoee River at the Ocoee Whitewater Center on Hwy. 64, west of Ducktown. 

Lisa Jacobi said the Pickin’ Up Tennessee group called her “out of the blue.”

Tennessee beautification campaign hits the Smokies
by Jill Frye, The Mountain Press (Sevier County), Jun. 26, 2013

excerpt: As Pickin’ Up Tennessee nears its end, one of the statewide litter awareness campaign’s last stops was the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Volunteers gathered Tuesday to clean an area of road near Morton’s Overlook.

The 3,000-mile, month-long tour, sponsored by Scenic Tennessee with support from Tennessee Department of Transportation and Tennessee State Parks, kicked off June 1.

“The Smokies is grateful that one of the tour stops was to the park,” said National Park Service Volunteer Coordinator Christine Hoyer. “We just had a spur cleanup this morning in cooperation with Keep Sevier Beautiful. As you can imagine, litter is a big issue with huge amounts of people visiting from all over the country.”

TDOT maintains that over 23 million pounds of litter were collected along 428,441 miles of county, state route, and interstate roadsides throughout the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Consequently, the department recently awarded $1 million in special litter grants, which were funded by the state’s soft drink and malt beverage industries.

Scenic Tennessee was one of 15 organizations to receive the grant.

“We are passionate about keeping Tennessee roadsides clean,” said TDOT beautification coordinator Shawn Bible. “Pickin’ up Tennessee plays a vital role in this effort by using volunteerism as well as social media and technology to instill pride in our environment and specifically to help protect and preserve Tennessee’s natural beauty.”

Pickin’ Up Tennessee comes to Cocke County
by Nelson Morais, The Newport Plain Talk, June 25, 2012

Excerpt: Music, film, and picking up litter joined together on Monday, June 24, as Scenic Tennessee President Marge Davis came to town and with volunteers, including local elected officials, removed a lot of discarded tires on hillsides along Bluff Road, off East Highway 25/70.

Cocke County is one of 20 stops for a Pickin’ Up Tennessee campaign to promote the state’s natural beauty and music, and to get rid of unsightly litter along roads.

Davis said her 3,000-mile journey in a brightly painted RV was being filmed by a videographer who joined some 20 volunteers, including Cocke County Mayor Vaughn Moore, City of Newport, Mayor Connie Ball, and state Rep. Jeremy Faison and his family on Monday to get rid of tires, bottles, and other trash dumped in the woods along Bluff Road.

Pickin’ up Blount: Local musicians share talent for litter awareness
By Joel Davis, The Daily Times (Maryville), June 25, 2013

Excerpt: Two Blount County musicians are donating their time and talents to an effort to increase awareness of the state’s litter problem.

Mark Durand and Ron Elrod were filmed Tuesday during a stop on the Pickin’ Up Tennessee RV tour at a private home on Sam James Road. The footage will be combined with scenes from videotaped litter cleanups and local stories to make one of the 20 videos posted on YouTube and linked to the Pickin’ Up Tennessee website.

Pickin’ Up Tennessee is an outreach program by Scenic Tennessee, an organization devoted to scenic beauty issues such as billboard control, litter reduction and historic preservation.

“Pickin’ Up Tennessee is about celebrating the state’s beauty, cleaning up our environment and championing some of the rich music and diverse creative spirit of Tennesseans we’ll meet along our tour route,” said the organization’s president, Marge Davis.

Durand became involved with the program because of Davis. “I’ve known Marge for 30 years,” Durand said. “She’s a buddy of mine. She is also a person who is very mission-driven and idealistic.”

Music, cleanup mark ‘Love the Land, Lose the Litter’ campaign’s Carter County visit
Elizabethton Star, Sunday, June 23

Excerpt: A documentary crew and  representatives of Scenic Tennessee will bring the “Love the land. Lose the litter” campaign to four Carter County locations  today to raise awareness.

Thecampaign combines special events, music and community cleanups as the Pickin’  Up Tennessee team films 20  cleanup events and musical performances representing a diverse selection of local performers and music genres.

The footage  will be combined with scenic images and local stories into videos that are posted on YouTube and linked to the Pickin’ Up Tennessee website, all with the goal to build awareness of the importance of environmental stewardship. First on today’s Carter County schedule is the 11a.m.  to noon performance by the  Watauga Valley Fife and Drum  Corps at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.

Also on today’s Carter County schedule are:

• Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes and his band will  play at the Covered Bridge Park  from noon to 1 pm. 

• Litter pickup,  1 pm to 2 pm, assembling at the Covered Bridge Park, and

• Music performance at the Miller Homestead in Roan Mountain State Park, featuring  Rhodyjane Meadows with T.V.  Barnett and His Roan Mountain Moonshiners, from 4 to 4:30 pm.

Pickin’ Up Tennessee crisscrossing state to deliver message, record music, make film
By Barry Courter, Chattanooga Times Free Press, June 20, 2013

Excerpt: Jane and Harlan Porfiri have been traveling the state with their parents, filming a fairly elaborate documentary with a simple message.

“Never, ever, ever, ever litter,” 8-year-old Harlan says.

“And always recycle,” 10-year-old Jane adds.

On a beautiful Wednesday afternoon, the two were sitting in the Tennessee Aquarium Plaza next to their mother, Linda Duvoisin, and watching their father, Dave Porfiri, film the Booker T. Scruggs Ensemble as it performed the hymn, “Closer Walk With Thee.”

The performance is one of 20 such songs being recorded as part of the Pickin’ Up Tennessee tour, now traveling across the state to promote the message “Love the Land. Lose the Litter.” Before the tour made it to Chattanooga, an all-girl rock band was filmed in Nashville and a few artists have written original songs just for the project.

“The music has been awesome,” Porfiri says.

Local family picks up trash across TN; promotes anti-litter campaign 
WRCB NBC Channel 3 (Chattanooga), June 20, 2013

excerpt: Love the land and lose the litter is the motto of one Chattanooga family promoting environmental awareness. The Porfiri family is spending the month of June traveling in an RV to 20 different counties across the Volunteer State and cleaning up litter….

“It’s like a great family vacation,” said Linda Duvoisin. “I’m not trying to be hokey.”

Linda and her husband Dave Porfiri are filmmakers by trade and environmental stewards by choice. During the month of June, the couple is promoting their clean-up mission, traveling thousands of miles with their two girls in tow.

“We see a beautiful Tennessee and if people litter in it then it won’t be beautiful anymore,” said 8-year-old Harlan.

Pickin’ up Tennessee Combines Litter Pickup, Instrument Picking
Times Free Press (Chattanooga), June 13, 2013

Excerpt: A Chattanooga family is on an unusual adventure: a cross-state tour to build awareness about being good environmental stewards.

Dave Porfiri and Linda Duvoisin and their daughters Jane, 10, and Harlan, 8, began their adventure, called Pickin’ Up Tennessee, on June 1 at Tims Ford State Park in Winchester. Next week, their schedule will bring them closer to home. 

In each of the 20 cleanup sites, video from the locations, as well as a tally of waste, will be posted on the tour website. Music to accompany the video footage will be provided by various local groups. Their concerts are open to the public, as are chances to help the Porfiri/Duvoisin family pick up litter.

The schedule includes two stops on the Cumberland Plateau this weekend, followed by stops in McMinn and Hamilton counties next week. The last day of the tour will be in McMinn and Polk counties on Tuesday, June 26.

Pickin’ Up Tennessee Team Tours
WDXE Classic County 1370, Lawrenceburg, June 7, 2013

Excerpt: Wednesday, June 5, 2013, was a Great Day for Lawrenceburg as Pickin’ Up Tennessee … met with County Executive J. Mack Chandler [and] Curtis Peters, president, Lawrence County Historical Society. Peters, as curator of the Old Jail Museum, offered the group an impromptu tour. … 

“We were thrilled to have such a wonderful team filming in our county,” said Chandler. “This just goes along with our clean-up efforts that have been underway in our county for some time now. We have such a beautiful county and with our clean-up project and the awareness brought about by the Pickin’ Up Tennessee team, it will only enhance the beauty.” 

Pickin’ Up Tennessee anti-litter tour to stop Saturday at Cherry Mansion
The Courier (Hardin County), June 6, 2013

Excerpt: Long known for rolling hills, mountain vistas and lively music, Tennessee continues to struggle with some mind-numbing roadside litter statistics. Now, Scenic Tennessee is poised to positively impact the littered landscape by launching a statewide campaign that combines local music, scenic photography and community litter cleanups into online videos and social media networking. The effort began June 1 with a month-long Pickin’ Up Tennessee tour designed to drive home the campaign’s powerful message: Love the land. Lose the litter.

Saturday, the Cherry Mansion will be the scene of the Hardin County leg of the Pickin’ Up Tennessee tour. The Holt Family will begin playing at 1 p.m. for about an hour. A community effort litter pick up will be held afterward in Chester County at 3 p.m. off Tenn. 100 on Pleasant Springs Road 7.5 miles west of Henderson at the entrance to Chickasaw State Park.

Publicist for the Pickin’ Up Tennessee campaign, Susan Sizemore, said more effort should be made to change people’s everyday habits.

“Picking up is one thing. Not littering is another,” she said.

Trash team pickin’ it up statewide
by Quint Qualls, The Tennessean, June 5, 2013

Excerpt: When Marge Davis, president of Scenic Tennessee, heard about a European man who combined litter cleanup, live music and video to rally people to his environmental cause, she resolved to do the same in Tennessee.

On Monday, Davis and 11 others, including Dickson County Mayor Bob Rial and State Rep. Mary Littleton, collaborated to remove rubbish from Highway 48 in Charlotte.

“It’s more than just a physical litter cleanup. We’re doing a major public relations campaign,” said Dave Porfiri, Mindflow Media filmmaker in charge of documentation of the campaign.

His 7-year-old daughter, Harlan Porfiri, confronted the early summer humidity to join the cleanup effort. One passerby gave Harlan a bag of Rocky Road cookies.

“They just said it was cool and a good deed we were doing, so she wanted to give us a reward,” Porfiri said.

Pickin’ Up Tennessee Makes Stop in Cowan
by Andrea Agardy, The Tullahoma News, June 4, 2013

Excerpt: On Saturday morning, Cowan joined a group of Volunteer State towns in hosting Pickin’ Up Tennessee, a multimedia community cleanup campaign aimed at spreading a simple but important message: Love the land. Lose the litter.”

The festivities in Cowan began at the railroad museum, where a group of roughly a dozen youngsters and a handful of adults worked together to pick up litter from the area.

The videographers then traveled to Hawkins Cove Road, where David L. Van Buskirk, president of the Tims Ford Council, and a crew of trustees from the Franklin County Jail sorted the litter to pull out valuable recyclables.

According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation, in fiscal year 2011-2012 more than 23 million pounds of litter were collected along 428,441 miles of county, state route and interstate roadsides.

Tennessee cleans up with bev industry anti-litter grant
Editorial, The Jackson Sun, Dec. 11, 2012 

Excerpt: We’ve all seen it: Cans, bottles, fast food containers and other litter tossed along roadsides by thoughtless people. State and local governments spend millions of dollars each year to clean up these messes, when the money could be used for things such as education. Anti-litter campaigns aren’t new, but this one merits note. It combines the anti-litter message with recycling, Tennesseans’ pride in volunteerism, the state’s rich musical heritage, history, culture and Tennessee scenic and recreational venues from the Mississippi River to the Great Smoky Mountains.