Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful eNewsletter
North Pole Stroll Thursday, 12/17

Santa Claus will visit the North Pole Stroll
Thursday, December 17th.
Join us at the duck pond on Thursday, December 17th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.    
  • Santa will be ready and waiting to hear your children's updated Christmas lists.
  • At 6:00 p.m., Santa will read The Night Before Christmas to the children and families.
  • Bring your cameras to capture precious moments.
  • Hot chocolate and mulled cider will be available for sale (benefits KALB).
  • Enjoy the decorated trees all lit up and other displays as you stroll through the park.


What do you do when the manager of the Athens Lowe's store calls you and wants to donate trees for the city to create something for the holidays?  Mayor Marks and Holly Hollman knew just who to call.
The North Pole Stroll was created and organized by Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association, Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful, Limestone County Archives, and Spirit of Athens.
Local businesses have adopted the trees and either decorated them or have given them to a local organization to decorate.

John Cotton, KALB President, attaches a snowman face.
John and Donna Cotton help put buttons of "coal" on the snowmen..
One of KALB's contributions was a family of snowmen made from old tires.  The buttons were created from smashed aluminum cans, part of the eyes were made from milk jug lids, two of the mouths were made from old inner tubes, and the hats and matching scarves were made to fit each snowman.  Additional scarves were donated by KALB Commission members.
Two old suitcases with travel stickers added to them to show where the Snowmen had visited were added to the grouping.  The display was appropriately titled "Tired Tourists".
Lynne Hart, Executive Director, appreciates everyone who pitched in to make this holiday display.  It is proving to be a popular photo spot.  If you take a photo with our "Tired Tourists", please use #AthensTiredTourists so we can see them!

For information visit  

18 Things You Should Know About Your Recycling Center

  1. The Athens-Limestone Recycling Center (ALRC) has been serving Athens and Limestone County residents and businesses for 35 years.
  2. Our center is the OLDEST NON-PROFIT recycling center in the state of Alabama.
  3. The center is NOT a department of the City of Athens or Limestone County; however, we do receive appropriations from both.
  4. Mayor Marks greets Mr. & Mrs. Guy McClure.
     Mr. McClure helped his Science Club at
     Athens High School start a recycling program
    in 1977, which was taken over by KALB when it grew too large for the school to handle.
    ALRC accepts many items that other centers across the country will not accept, such as #3-#7 plastics, glass, cooking oil, motor oil, electronics, and batteries of all kinds.
  5. People come from outside our county to bring materials that others won't accept or only accept during special collection events.
  6. ALRC services 14 community collection centers as well as the 24/7 drop-off center on Lucas Ferry Rd.
  7. 24 city and county schools, both public and private, are served by our recycling center.
  8. Recycling pick-up is provided to 300+ businesses in Athens and Limestone County.
  9. 1,984 TONS of materials were processed through our center in fiscal year ending 9/30/15.  That is nearly 4 million pounds of materials kept out of our landfills and tons of natural resources saved.
  10. Recycling in Athens was started by an Athens High School science club in 1977 under the direction of teacher Guy McClure.  They began collecting cardboard and aluminum cans to raise funds.
  11. As the project grew, the City of Athens provided the science club the use of the old incinerator site behind Roselawn Cemetery as a "donation-only drop off center."
  12. In 1980, Athens-Limestone Clean Community (now known as Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful)
    Celebrating 35 years in business are board members and staff. L to R:  Vicki Toney,
    Lynne Hart, Leigh Patterson, Dell Powell,
    Deborah Daws, Patsy Gooch and
     Ruby McCartney
    assumed responsibility for the program, which had become a full-time operation.  A five-member volunteer board was formed with Joann Christopher as chairperson.  Ray Whitt was appointed the first Recycling Center Plant Manager. 
  13. In 1987, the center was awarded the "National Recycling Award" by the Keep America Beautiful organization.  In 2001,  the center was recognized as the Best Non-Profit Recycling Program by the Alabama Recycling Coalition.
  14. Curbside recycling in Athens began in 1994 as a cooperative project between the recycling center and the City of Athens.             
  15. In 1997, the County Commission purchased recycling trailers to be placed at the county schools to be used as community collection centers with the recycling center servicing the trailers.  The number of community collection centers has increased since then and the recycling center continues servicing them.
  16. The center moved its operations to it's current location on Lucas Ferry Rd. in 2004.
  17. Our not-for-profit center is truly non-profit!  The center is run on a bare-bones budget, struggling against dropping commodity prices and increasing expenses.  Breaking even at the end of a month is considered a good month.
  18. Ruby McCartney, Plant Manager, works very long hours doing whatever is necessary to keep the center running.  She loves this community and doesn't want to see the loss of this very important service.

Please use your local non-profit center whenever possible.   

Don't take its existence for granted.  It is a jewel in the community that is only maintained by proper community use and dedicated management.

Old Town Cemetery
Dressed Up For Christmas

The Athens-Limestone Beautification Board has been sprucing up the Old Town
Old Town Cemetery on Washington St. dressed up for Christmas.  A portion
of the new wrought iron fencing
is visible in the foreground.
Cemetery for the holidays.

Barbara Newman, with help from other board members, recently placed wreaths on the headstones at this historic cemetery. 

This small cemetery can easily be overlooked, but its significance to the community is huge.  The Beautification Board thought it was important to bring attention to this historic landmark during the holiday season.

The Old Town Cemetery is the earliest known cemetery in Athens, and is the final resting place for many of its first citizens.  The earliest burials date from the 1820's and continue through the mid-1800's.

Additionally, a $2,500 grant has been received from the Alabama Historical Society to replace the wrought iron fence across the frontage of the cemetery.  Two sections have been fabricated and placed.  The remainder of the fence will be placed by spring.  David Seibert, Beautification Board Chairman, has taken responsibility for leading this effort.

A huge thank you goes out to our Athens-Limestone Beautification Board members for taking on these projects.
November 4H Clubs 
= 1,000+ Students  
 44 Environmental Presentations

Lynne Hart with a group of excited students ready to play Environmental Jeopardy.

KALB always looks forward to November.  America Recycles Day is celebrated on November 15th each year, but it's better than that.

KALB staff are invited to present the program at all 5th and 6th grade 4H meetings in the Limestone County schools every November.  This year that meant 44 presentation reaching over 1,000 5th and 6th grade students within a 3-week period.

This year, our presentation included a competitive game of Environmental Jeopardy to see which team could answer the most recycling questions correctly.  Students love competition and they received a wealth of information about recycling.

In February, we will be presenting a similar program for 5th and 6th grade 4H clubs at Athens Intermediate School.  This will be the first time for us to present to city 4H clubs, and we are excited!

Any school or individual teacher is invited to request a program.  KALB staff are prepared with ready-to-go programs or we can design one to fit your particular need and age group.  Contact us for information.   


December 2015

Just a bit of Pink Panther humor from 1967; however, there is a lesson in this video.  What he does with the litter shows us what we should not do and what we can do!
The Pink Panther in
The Pink Panther in "Pink of the Litter"

Recycling Center Celebrates 
35th Anniversary

Our recycling center has proudly served Athens and Limestone County for 35 years.

A celebration was held in November to commemorate this anniversary.  Thank you to all who came out to celebrate with us!

Ray Whitt, the first plant manager of the
Athens-Limestone Recycling Center, with Ruby McCartney, the current Plant Manager, enjoying the anniversary celebration.

Helping us celebrate are L to R: 
Jim Heisler, Recycling Board Chairman,
Lynne Hart, KALB Executive Coordinator,
Ruby McCartney, Plant Manager, Councilman Harold Wales, Mayor Ronnie Marks, and
 Councilman Chris Seibert.

Upcoming Community Events

Dec 3 - Jan 3
Athens North Pole Stroll
Big Spring Memorial Park/Athens-Limestone Visitors Center, 100 North Beaty Street, Athens, AL  Build family memories with a stroll amid the decorated trees courtesy of Lowe's featuring local businesses and charities.  The uniquely decorated trees with solar powered lights and other upcycled decorations make this first annual event a North Alabama treasure to be explored.  Free to spectators.  Information: 256-232-5411 or

Dec 17th
Santa Visits North Pole Stroll
Santa will be greeting children and hearing their updated Christmas lists from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Big Spring Memorial Park (the duck pond) in Athens.  A reading of The Night Before Christmas by Santa Claus will take place at 6:00 p.m.  Hot chocolate and mulled cider will be available for purchase.  Information:  256-232-5411

Dec 17th
Thursday Readers
Athens-Limestone County Public Library, 603 South Jefferson St., Athens.  Come and discuss your favorite Christmas-themed books at 9 a.m.

Dec 17th
Mystery book Club
Athens-Limestone County Public Library, 603 S. Jefferson St., Athens.  Discover and discuss Miss Zukas - librarian and slueth starting at 6:00 p.m.  For more information, contact Mrs. Laura at 256-232-1233.

Dec 20th
Christmas is Jesus Orchestral Concert
Emmanuel Baptist Church, 1917 US Hwy 72 W., Athens.  Join the Orchestra of Emmanuel Baptist Church at 6:00 p.m. for a concert.

Dec 20th 
That's Where the Story Began Concert
Piney Grove Baptist Church, 28430 Pinedale Rd., Ardmore, AL.  Join the Piney Grove Adult Choir directed by Sonia Hastings at 10:30 a.m. for a presentation of "That's Where the Story Began". 

 KALB Brings Attention To Athens Heroes
At Civitan Operation Santa 

Officers Neal Muse, Brandon Colburn, and Capt. Trevor Harris join Santa for a photo at Operation Santa.  Photo courtesy of Holly Hollman.
The Athens Ladies Civitan Club holds fundraisers throughout the year to fund the work they do in the community.  One of their projects is to provide a Christmas party for the clients of the Limestone County Mental Health Center each December. 
The party includes a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, entertainment, gifts and Santa Claus.  It is an event that is highly anticipated by the clients each year.
This year, the entertainment included the reading of a Christmas poem titled Athens Christmas Heroes written by a KALB employee who is also a Civitan member. 
Clients participated as well as representatives from the Athens Police and Fire Departments.  In the story, these heroes save Christmas in Athens.  Everyone was reminded that these men and women are heroes every day they put on their uniforms. At the end of the reading, our own Athens heroes were given a standing ovation by all in attendance.

There is quite a story of a Christmas past,
when in Athens, Alabama Christmas was coming fast.
Everyone was rushing 'round the Courthouse Square,
To buy last minute presents and wrap them with care.
The weather was changing and was quite a surprise,
As huge snowflakes came down from out of the skies.
It fell and it fell and piled up oh so deep,
Mayor Marks said, "I know that I won't get much sleep."

Plan To Participate!

Elk River Canoe &  
Kayak Trail Cleanup
River Cleanup Canoe  
On Saturday, April 2, 2016, volunteers will gather to clean up our Elk River.

Plan now to be a part of this annual event.  Bring your canoe, flat bottom boat, or just yourselves to help remove litter and trash from the water and surround land.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the pre-registered groups that pick up the most pounds of trash and lunch will be provided.  Prizes and lunch are made possible through the support of the TVA.

Watch the KALB website at for information and registration forms.


Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO 

On Saturday, April 30, 2016, KALB will host the annual Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO.  Friendship Church in Athens has graciously agreed to provide their grounds and building for this event.  This will give us plenty of room for outdoor displays and activities, as well as indoor facilities in case of inclement weather.

KALB is looking for organizations, businesses, and student groups to participate.

If you have a business that offers earth-friendly goods or services, we'd like to offer you the opportunity to share that information.

We are also looking for student groups that would like to present an exhibit or performance that brings attention to an environmental issue.

IT IS NOT TOO EARLY TO REGISTER!  Information and printable registration form can be found at

Contact us with any questions you may have. 
"The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today
for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard."   
Founder of Earth Day

About Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful 

  • We are your connection to environmental information.
  • We are your link to community action and volunteer opportunities.
  • We are litter control, beautification, and recycling.
  • We are your resource for speakers on environmental topics for any age group.

125 East Street

Athens, Alabama 35612

Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful