Learn about an east Lincoln organization’s environmental focus

Keep Lincoln County Beautiful became an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful in February 2019. /File photo

DENVER – East Lincoln Betterment Association (ELBA) has supported efforts to improve the environment in eastern Lincoln County for many years. ELBA is currently supporting the Denver Beautification Committee (DBC) by providing an umbrella organization for 501(c)(3) benefits and publicity, just as ELBA did in the early days for Keep Lincoln County Beautiful (KLCB).

Patty Korn, a member of ELBA’s Board of Directors in 2013 and 2014, led the ELBA Environmental Committee, which she led to form what is now KLCB. KLCB became an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful in February 2019.

The DBC has a big vision for East Lincoln. As Lady Bird Johnson said, “There is much the government can do and should do to improve the environment. But even more important is the individual who plants a tree or cleans a corner of neglect. For it is the individual who himself benefits, and also protects a heritage of beauty for his children and future generations. Though the word beautification makes the concept sound merely cosmetic, it involves much more:  clean water, clean air, clean roadsides, safe waste disposal and preservation of valued old landmarks as well as great parks and wilderness areas. To me … beautification means our total concern for the physical and human quality we pass on to our children and the future.”

The DBC’s big vision for East Lincoln encompasses a wide range of potential projects. Some DBC projects involve working with local businesses, schools, fire departments, Lincoln County government and the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). Other projects include landscaping, litter prevention, recycling, signage and storm water runoff issues. Volunteers can work on any project that they are interested in, even if the project isn’t currently on the list. Some projects can be accomplished quickly while others will take more time.

In 2021, the DBC led the effort to plant 16 maple trees, nine dogwood trees and one Kwanzan Cherry tree at North Lincoln Middle School in Denver, thanks to a generous $3,160 donation from the family of Dr. Paul Carter from Denver and the support of ELBA.

Also in 2021, the DBC worked with NCDOT to get the hill along N.C. 73 in front of the Denver Walmart mowed and added to the NCDOT’s regular mowing schedule.

The DBC is also working with local businesses to ensure that all U.S. flags are properly illuminated if flown during the hours of darkness. U.S. flags have either been removed or lights have been installed at some businesses, but improper display of the flag still exists.

The DBC is currently working with Lincoln County government to address several vacant, abandoned and dilapidated buildings, one of which was demolished in January 2022 in accordance with the Abandoned Structures ordinance.

In March 2022, seven community volunteers, one teacher volunteer and 24 student volunteers spread 214 bales of pine needles on 25 parking lot medians in the bus/staff and student/public parking lots and around the trees at the school entrance at East Lincoln High School. The total cost of this project was $1,010, all of which was donated. Billy Scott with Lake Norman Turf donated 80 bales of pine needles.

While KLCB is focused on a county-wide basis, the DBC is focused on efforts in Denver and eastern Lincoln County. KLCB did not complete any major beautification projects in eastern Lincoln County in 2021 and does not plan any major projects in eastern Lincoln County in 2022, which makes the work of the DBC even more important.

To volunteer or to submit a project idea, please contact Patty Korn at pattykornpjk@aol.com or 704-451-7313. Donations to help fund the projects can be made to the East Lincoln Betterment Association, P.O. Box 922, Denver, NC 28037; please write “Beautification” on the check.

George Barr is a member of the East Lincoln Betterment Association board. This is part of a Citizen series of columns from regional business services agencies.

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