Rockingham County lake cleanup group start ‘mythical monsters’ program to turn trash into art

Piedmont Triad News

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — The Good Stewards of Rockingham is starting a program that could put money in your pocket. The only thing you have to do is join a river clean up team and turn trash into art.

Steven Pulliam is the Dan River keeper. Pulliam and others paddle along the rivers that flow through Rockingham County to remove trash along the river.

It doesn’t take long for Pulliam’s boat to fill with junk.

“A lot of plastics. A lot of folks like to get the cheap tubes. A lot of the times they deflate or partially deflate,” Pulliam said.

Plastics, broken oars and bottles are some of the trash that’s pulled out of the river. But there’s one thing that really bothers Pulliam.

“Tires. They have been the bane of my existence for some time. It’s a lot of weight to pull out of the river,” Pulliam said.

You can be fined up to $1,000 for littering. That message doesn’t seem to be working. So instead of fines, how about getting paid.

The Good Stewards of Rockingham is starting a program called the “Mythical Creatures of the Dan.” Artists can join a river clean up team, take the trash and create a mythical creature.

Executive Director of the Rockingham Arts Council, Jenny Edwards likes the idea.

“I think there are a lot of opportunities to create public art installations with these that could go in a wide variety of venues,” Edwards said.

Pulliam said when people see the “mythical trash monsters,” they might change how they treat the environment.

“We want that punch to the gut when you see something that’s not being taken care of,” Pulliam said.

Rockingham County is also paying people to clean up the roads. County Commissioner Mark Richardson explained charitable organizations can earn $75 a mile by picking up roadside trash.

“We think that’s a really good deal because it involves more people in the litter pick up and spreads the word about the problem that it is causing our county,” Richardson said.

Arts councils in Caswell and Stokes Counties are also taking a look at the “Mythical Creatures of the Dan” initiative.

If you are an artist interested in the Rockingham County trash to art program, call the Good Stewards of Rockingham at (336) 613-6109.

Charitable organizations looking to clean up a roadside can call the Rockingham County Government at (336) 342-8100.

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