Batesburg-Leesville sparkles after army of volunteers take to the streets Saturday
Batesburg-Leesville, SC - 03/21/2021 (Paul Kirby) -250 volunteers gathered on Saturday morning in cool temperatures and a stiff breeze to join to spruce up the Town of Batesburg-Leesville. They did this after organizers spent many hours pulling together their annual Spring Community Cleanup Day.
As some citizens went about their business, groups of the volunteers spread out across the town picking up litter and packing it into green bags provided by Palmetto Pride. Around Midlands Technical College and College Park, students from Batesburg-Leesville High School’s BETA Club raked out old leaves and limbs and placed new mulch under the shrubs around the college’s sign, the Poultry Festival Hut, and the green hedges that lined the parking lots.
According to Ted Luckadoo, the town’s manager, more than 13 churches led by the members of the Ministerial Alliance, nine civic groups, the B&L Chamber of Commerce, and the schools made up the group of workers who all gathered to make the beautiful western Lexington County town a better place. “It really is amazing to see people come together like this,” Luckadoo said. “These people really care about this town and what it looks like.”
The town had placed one dump truck in the parking lot of the college and as the day drew on, Assistant Town Manager Jay Hendrix met a steady stream of vehicles that were delivering the packed bags of litter to be hauled away. It was just one of the trucks the volunteers filled with the bags of trash and debris. Others were driving the streets collecting the bags from neat piles left by the groups along the sides of the roads. By days end, multiple trucks had been filled. Before they were emptied, employees drove the trucks across the scales of a local business to reveal that the groups had collected 5 tons (10,000 lbs.) of litter from Batesburg-Leesville’s Streets.
Batesburg-Leesville’s Mayor Lancer Shull said in an interview after the work was complete, “This has been an amazing day. We had children with the Boy Scouts here under 10 years old and we had some senior citizens in their 70s. They were all here because they love this town.” Shull went on to say, “It’s easy to say you care about your community, but when the cold morning comes and you have to get out the house and do the work, that’s a clear outward display of people’s love for their town.”
Shull said he was proud of how the Town of Batesburg-Leesville comes together and cooperates to get things like this done. “Whether it’s our Halloween on Main, the Poultry Festival, the Christmas Parade, or any other event, I have to say this community works together better than any other I know. Every neighborhood seems to chip in and do their part. I think that’s a direct result of the open lines of communications we have across the town. We all meet regularly, and we talk with one another. Every community and neighborhood, every faith, no matter what their social and economic status is, everyone seems willing to come together and help.”
As proof of Shull’s statement, he made it clear that the cleanup wasn’t just a one day event. The members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, a group whose sabbath falls on Saturday, will be out Sunday morning continuing the work. “Civic pride isn’t just a one day a year thing here. We are always thinking, working, and planning to make Batesburg-Leesville a better place.”
Shull said he wanted to recognize the volunteers but also the Palmetto Pride organization for all they’ve done to help keep the town looking good. Last year the donated a state surplus pickup truck through a grant program that’s a key part of these types of events. They also provide the bags, safety vest, litter buckets, and other items used during the cleanup.
In closing Mayor Shull said, “This is such a great town! It’s a place where more and more people are visiting. Many of those are thinking they’d like to stay and become a part of the community we have here.”