Anti-Litter Video Project Wants Tennesseans To Sing, Play, Tweet To A Cleaner Tennessee

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Tennessee nonprofit best known for promoting the state’s scenic qualities now wants to showcase Tennessee’s musical heritage as well.

Scenic Tennessee has been awarded $100,000 by the Tennessee Department of Transportation to produce a series of quick-paced videos that apply the power of Tennessee music to the problem of Tennessee litter. Tentatively called “Tennessee Speed Cleanups,” the project involves videotaping dozens of litter pickups across the state, digitally accelerating the footage, then setting it to original or traditional music performed by amateur as well as professional musicians. Enhanced with captions, credits and images from 20 years of Scenic Tennessee photo contests, the completed videos will be shared via traditional media as well as sites like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. UT Knoxville’s student environmental group SPEAK will oversee the social media side of the project.

It is all part of a new effort by TDOT’s beautification office to address litter “beyond routine maintenance.” Scenic Tennessee, an affiliate of Scenic America, is one of 15 grant recipients notified yesterday of their share in nearly $1 million provided by the state’s soft drink and malt beverage industries. Grantees are required to provide a 20-percent match; for Scenic Tennessee, this will come in the form of hundreds of hours of volunteer labor.

“We’re thrilled, honored and excited by this opportunity,” said Scenic Tennessee President Marge Davis, “and so grateful to the beverage industries for their innovation and generosity. Thanks to them, we can now get busy lining up recording studios, outfitting video teams and recruiting singers and songwriters. We’ll also be asking leaders in every county for ideas and information, from local talent and unique attractions, to recycling centers and potential cleanup sites.”

Scenic Tennessee, which has long advocated for recycling via a refundable deposit on beverage containers, sees the multimedia cleanups as a fresh way to highlight the value in waste. The videos will feature not just footage of the cleanups as they occur but the subsequent sorting, tallying and recycling of the littered items. Davis predicts that as much as 75 percent of collected materials will be recycled.

At the same time, the project seeks to highlight the value of sustainable tourism. Visitors to the project website will be able to click on an interactive map that includes links not just to the videos (there will be at least one per county), but also to local parks, local history, local agriculture, even local products.

“We want the cleanups map to double as a travelers’ guide to Tennessee,” said Ms. Davis. “For instance, a click on Memphis might take you to a cleanup on Beale Street, with a blues group singing in the background, and a link to Cotton Row. A click in Middle Tennessee could take you to an underwater cleanup in the Duck River, with music by a local church choir, and links to canoe rentals or antebellum homes or rare freshwater mussels. In East Tennessee, you might go to a trout stream in the Smokies, listen to folks playing dulcimer and fiddle, then link to a workshop where traditional instruments are crafted by hand.

“What we’re hoping to do, in the end, is remind folks that this is Tennessee. This music is Tennessee, these mountains are Tennessee, these streams and these stories and these people and these traditions are Tennessee. Litter is the outsider. It doesn’t belong here. We want folks to feel that, and to act on it.”

Information will soon be available at www.tnspeedcleanups.org. In the meantime, parties interested in knowing more can contact Marge Davis at margedavis@comcast.net or 615 294-2651.


Tour Of Chattanooga Area Rose Gardens Open Mother's Day Weekend

Members of The Tri-State Rose Society of Chattanooga are opening wide the gates of their private gardens to the public on Mothers’ Day weekend: Saturday and Sunday, May 13 and 14. Five rose gardens will be featured in Chattanooga, Hixson, East Brainerd and Soddy Daisy. "A favorite garden from past tours is that of Jeff and Cindy Garrett, who have been heroes in the cause ... (click for more)

TVA Warns Of Dam Dangers Due To Record Rains

With all the precipitation, records for rainfall and runoff have been broken, and TVA is racing to outpace the water and manage flooding across the system. Much hydropower generation is happening throughout the Valley, and many dams are spilling—that is, releasing water through the top of the dam to move it downriver. Dams routinely spill at rates of around a million gallons ... (click for more)

Severe Thunderstorms Cause Damage On Signal Mountain; Widespread Power Outages Reported

Severe thunderstorms that came through around  7:30 p.m.  brought trees down on Signal Mountain, and widespread power outages were reported. Two homes that had damage were at  205 Sunnybrook, with eaves and gutter damage, and  601 Dunsinane Road, with major damage to the roof line and a tree fell through the living room area. No injuries were ... (click for more)

Rescuers Called Out After Male Hits Head After Fall From Rope Swing; He And Companions Trapped On One Side Of The Creek

Rescue crews were setting up a safety line at the first creek crossing at the Pocket Wilderness at the foot of Mowbray Mountain after a male was injured on Saturday night and he and his companions were blocked by high water. Around 7:30 p.m. , a 911 call was made reporting the male had fallen from a man-made rope swing and hit his head on the rocks below at the Blue Hole ... (click for more)

Whatever Happened To The People's Game Warden?

Earlier this year a Chattanoogan.com article published a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency  (TWRA) Wildlife Officer encouraging readers to turn in anyone keeping or caring for an orphaned raccoon, squirrel, bunny or deer, because it may have rabies or pose a danger to some fictitious person.   In another  article, the TWRA Officer invaded a girl's home, seized ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Einstein Explains Insanity

In September of 2002, a detailed study of “Tennessee Schools on Notice” was prepared by the state’s Office of Education Accountability. This was when Senator Bob Corker was the Mayor of Chattanooga and it proves, pretty thoroughly I might add, that after millions upon millions of extra dollars have been poured down the collective drains at schools such as Orchard Knob, Clifton Hills, ... (click for more)