Keep Belmont Beautiful, a local affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, hosted its annual phonebook recycling drive through the month of January.
On January 31, representatives of KBB counted almost 16,000 phone books at area schools.
Belmont Central was the top collecting school with 11,287 books, most of which were stacked neatly in the gym and in the entrance hallways to the school.
Piza parties were awarded to the winning classes in each school and top collectors will be awarded certificates and KBB t-shirts.
Top collectors this year were:
JB Page: Sarah Neil, 130 books; Carson O’Brien, 100 books; school total-1,418
North Belmont: Chance York, 365 books; Audrey Williams, 342 books; school total -2,486
Belmont Central: Jordan Lathe, 7,188 books; Tyler Grigg, 2,015 books; and, Lindsey Johnson, 201 books; school total -11,287
Belmont Middle: Yash Patel, 75 books; school total -625
South Point: 42 books total
Keep Belmont Beautiful, an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, has been using the proceeds from a Community Foundation Grant to help educate third graders in Belmont about environmental issues.
This grant, entitled Planting the Seeds of Learning, is being used to provide a monthly program to North Belmont and Belmont Central Elementary students.
October’s program was on water conservation, and children learned tips for conserving water, current levels of rainfall, and the mandated water restrictions by the City of Belmont. They all received a 30-minute program on water conservation tips and were given copies of water conservation tips to take home and a word search and coloring section on water conservation. All third grade classes were given presentations by Carolyn Sly on how to construct a compost pile, each class room receiving all of the equipment to build it.
(KBB photo – Carolyn Sly in Classroom)
(Gazette Photo- courtesy of Belmont Historical Society)
Anybody who grew up in Belmont has a favorite memory of Stowe Park. Who can’t remember riding the Ferris wheel and being stopped at the very top? Or the big colored lights that hung over the walkways from Main Street down into the park? Watching movies at the amphitheater or dancing on the dance floor? Or being so small and looking up at the big sliding board?
But perhaps your most vivid recollection is the train that circled the upper part of the park and went through the tunnel.
The Belmont historical Society has recently been given the train and has formed a Stowe Park Train restoration committee. The members of the committee plan to paint the train its original colors and store it at its home on Catawba Street. Plans also include restoring one of the passenger cars.
The storage building is on the back of the property of the Cultural and Heritage Learning Center. Citizens are asked to bring any old pictures of Stowe Park to the center to have copies made. The train was recently on exhibit at the Summer Fest at Stowe Park.
Donations are being accepted for the restoration and are tax deductible. For more information, call (704) 825-4848.
Volunteers needed to pick up litter around town, along waterways
Two local environmental organizations will participate in massive community cleanups Oct. 6, and it’s not too late to get involved.
Keep Belmont Beautiful expects approximately 100 volunteers to pick up litter around town in its Big Sweep/Litter Sweep.
Up to 300 folks around Lake Wylie will pick up trash and debris along the banks of the lake in the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation’s River Sweep. Two of the six River Sweep meeting points are in Belmont — at Harbortowne Marina and the Seven Oaks Bridge on South New Hope Road.
“We need all the volunteers we can get,” says CD Collins, the Gaston County Regional Cove Keeper who lives on Catawba Cove on Lake Wylie. “You can never have too many people to help.”
Both Big Sweep/Litter Sweep and River Sweep started six years ago and are part of a statewide grass-roots campaign focused on community cleanups.
On Lake Wylie, volunteers will meet at six points around the lake to register and pick up gloves and trash bags. Ferried to cleanup sites by pontoon boat, volunteers will move to different areas of the lake throughout the morning. Volunteers who meet at Harbortowne and Seven Oaks will work along the South Fork River, Catawba Creek and along the main channel’s shoreline.
Trash will be unloaded onto a lake barge from noon to 1 p.m. Then volunteers can enjoy a party at T-Bones on the Lake at the Buster Boyd Bridge. The celebration includes free food and drinks and a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses and communities.
This summer’s drought and extremely low lake levels will help the cleanup effort, says Collins.
“We’re counting on the ability to get ashore and to pick up more trash,” he says. “We never like to see the water down, but it will assist us in getting more debris picked up.”
In Belmont, volunteers will meet at 8:30 a.m. in Stowe Park to enjoy hot chocolate, coffee and doughnuts. Cleanup efforts will begin at 9 a.m. and last up to 90 minutes.
(Fountain at Stowe Park)
“For a small town, we’re excited to have about 100 volunteers,” says Keep Belmont Beautiful Director Judy Closson. “We’re expecting Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, the Beta Club from Belmont Middle School, the Belmont Woman’s Club, volunteers from Keep Belmont Beautiful, firefighters, the police academy and many other people in the community to help.”
Big Sweep/Litter Sweep will focus on Belmont’s worst trash areas first, then branch out to areas less plagued with debris.
Some volunteers also will work at the Gaston County Recycling Center off South New Hope Road in Belmont by handing out free tarps and educational brochures to owners of pickup trucks.
“We’re trying to get the word out that they’re supposed to have their load covered, even if it’s just a small load,” says Closson. “That’s where a lot of our trash on the roadways comes from, from things blowing out of the back of trucks.”
Many Keep Belmont Beautiful volunteers have helped out for several years running, but with all the people moving to town, Closson sees new faces every fall.
“People take pride in Belmont,” she says. “They don’t want to see litter laying around and they’re willing to get out and do something about it.”
• Keep Belmont Beautiful will sponsor Big Sweep/Litter Sweep beginning at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 6. Volunteers can enjoy refreshments before cleaning up litter around Belmont for an hour and a half. For details, call Keep Belmont Beautiful director Judy Closson at 704-825-8587.
• The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation will sponsor River Sweep on Oct. 6. Volunteers will meet at six areas around Lake Wylie, including Harbortowne Marina and the Seven Oaks Bridge in Belmont, to clean up banks. Hours are 9 a.m.-noon. A free party at T-Bones on the Lake will follow at 1 p.m. For details on how to volunteer or to donate a raffle prize, call Gaston County Regional Cove Keeper CD Collins at 704-825-3588.
Well, disfigured trees versus no power after windstorms or hurricanes. Duke Power Company, “trims” and “prunes” trees to avoid power line interference. Unfortunately, the terms are really hack, and disfigure.
In some parts of this beautiful community, the trees are carefully pruned. In other areas, especially if the property owner is not at home when the “cuttin’ crew” comes by, whole sides of trees are shaved cleaner than a hairless cat.
Most of the new developments have buried lines and don’t face the issue. We often find it funny though, when developers plant young trees right under existing lines. Doesn’t the city oversee the planning and execution of these developments ? It is as if the department doesn’t exist sometimes. Heaven’s to betsy, they have to see what will happen in a couple of dozen years.
It is also a shame that Duke Power doesn’t have a consistent plan across the town… even though they say they do, it is neither enforced or reviewed.
We can’t think of too many cool things to do sometimes. Neighbors from all over Belmont have taken on several preservation activities of the “old” Belmont. This project to erect a monument to the East Belmont School comes on the heels of the successful opening of the Belmont Historical Society, and the Reid Community’s annual festival.
When the discussion of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan was going on, the term “neighborhood preservation” was thrown about. These projects contribute to neighborhood preservation efforts and we feel they should be supported.
Get out and be active in your neighborhood. There are plenty of stories to share with us all, young and old, newcomers and natives.