Mercer County Earns National Achievement Award For “Love Where You Live, Keep Mercer Clean” Campaign

MERCER COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Mercer County has been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.

NACo recognized Mercer County, West Virginia as the receiver of the 2018 Achievement Award in the category of Volunteers for the “Love Where You Live, Keep Mercer Clean” Campaign. This program was first initiated in 2014 and every year since the number of volunteers and the amount of trash collected has increased significantly.

Commissioner Gene Buckner: We have been very fortunate to have so many citizens of Mercer County willing to participate in the “Keep Mercer Clean” campaign. Volunteers of all ages have taken the time to come out and clean up litter from dump sites and roadways all over the county. Many thanks to the Mercer County Board of Education for giving us the opportunity to speak with the students about litter control and encourage their participation in the “Trash to Treasures” competition. It makes me proud to be a part of the Mercer County Commission and the “Keep Mercer Clean” campaign. I would also like to thank Joshua Parks, our Litter Control Officer and all those who have given their time to move this program forward.

Commissioner Greg Puckett: For the past four years, this campaign has been leveraged on the amazing work of our volunteer base and community networking. Yes, we are working harder all the time on the litter problems and open dumps, but this community has taken upon itself to say that this type of behavior is unacceptable and is working to make a difference. From our youngest volunteer doing a “trash to treasure” project, or those that are with us on every roadside, this award is for all of those in Mercer trying to make positive change happen. I cannot thank them enough for sharing our vision.

Commissioner Bill Archer: I am proud of all the adult volunteers who participate in the “Keep Mercer Clean” campaign, and I am equally proud of the young people who are active ‘litter getters’ in their schools and homes. Generations of southern West Virginians worked in the natural resource extraction industries. Coal miners and lumberjacks worked long hours in back-breaking, dangerous jobs where survival was a primary concern. The laborers focused their efforts on supporting their families. The investor coal operators and timber magnates that brought jobs into the mountains didn’t make nature conservancy a priority. As a result, neither did members of their workforce.

Our Keep Mercer Clean campaign focuses on young students and encourages them to get excited about getting rid of litter in their neighborhoods and changing the mindset in their communities. The participation of adult volunteers helps reinforce that message.

NACo President Roy Charles Brooks said, “Counties seize opportunities to deliver services more efficiently and build stronger communities every day. Achievement Award-winning programs are examples for counties that are determined to enhance services for our residents.”

Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.

NACo will recognize award-winning counties at its 2018 Annual Conference and Exposition July 13-16 in Nashville/Davidson County, Tennessee.

Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.

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