ETSU Campus Leaders for Environmental and Responsibility plan to introduce students to the Tweetsie Trail for a bike ride and clean-up day.
The Tweetsie Trail, a 10-mile pedestrian pathway, provides a link for two communities: Johnson City and Elizabethton.
It covers a wide range of beautiful scenery with bridges overlapping the trail.
The trail was constructed on the tracks of the notable Tweetsie Railway that has a rich history dating back to 1866, when the railway received its charter with East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad.
Upon its grand opening last year, the Tweetsie Trail has continued to remain an economic source for tourism, businesses and especially recreational activities.
“The goal for the clean-up is to introduce students to the university woods and to show everyone how easy it is for someone to make a difference in environmental quality in your own backyard or street just by picking up trash as you see it,” said CLEAR President Nathaniel Hancock.
ETSU offers a variety of service organizations on campus including: CLEAR, EcoNuts and Service Saturdays.
“CLEAR is great for students who are passionate about the environment and the outdoors,” Hancock said. “By working in the local community we are able to understand how environmental principles are applied locally.”
Each semester, CLEAR plans multiple trips and events depending on different interests and skill levels.
“This semester, in addition to this event, we have at least one trip planned to JEM Organic Farm to tour the farm and help with various maintenance and planting work,” Hancock said.
A trip to Cranberry Bog on the Nature Conservancy property in Shady Valley, Tennessee, is also planned to remove invasive species.
“For this trip, we will get to stay overnight in a rustic farmhouse,” Hancock said.
There are also plans to spend a day expanding the community gardens in Buc Ridge and to partner with the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards with trail maintenance throughout Johnson City.
The organization’s aim is to have fun by adventuring, camping and hiking, while participating in a variety of service projects.
“More than anything, we are able to explore, protect and enjoy the land and areas around us, while getting our hands dirty as well,” Hancock said.
CLEAR events continue to help students interact with the community and its natural environment.
“In the past semester, students provided about 85 volunteer service hours to various community projects and we hope to see that number increase dramatically,” Hancock said.