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JASPER, Tenn. — A push to clean up litter in Marion County has been underway in recent months, but now the monumental task of cleaning up Sequatchie Mountain Road is at hand.

Alyssaandra Grizenko, a representative with Green Steps, an anti-littering organization, spoke to the Marion County Commission at its November meeting about the upcoming project.

Grizenko said a cleanup crew will gather on Jan. 6 and 7 on Sequatchie Mountain Road, but a great deal of help will be needed to get the job done.

"This is a community initiative," she said. "We're going to need a lot of collaboration for this cleanup. We are looking for a lot of help. However people can get involved, we would be extremely grateful."

The group needs trucks, machinery to lift out bulky items, dumpsters for litter and large items, participants with rappelling skills and gear, and volunteers to serve as zone leaders who would oversee each of six cleanup areas.

Grizenko said "a couple of hundred" volunteers are needed.

"There will be areas that are treacherous," she said. "Difficulty levels will vary for different people. A lot of the agencies and organizations are getting on board."

Green Steps is working with a number of groups to get the area around the road cleaned up, including the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Tennessee Department of Transportation, among others.

Commission Chairman Gene Hargis said the county is more than willing to assist.

"We've got some resources to get you some help," he told organizers.

State officials put dye in the water near the road recently and learned that it flows into Sequatchie Cave.

"That trash and stuff that's up there does not do well for the habitat that lives there at the mountain cave, so it would be a great thing to get that cleaned up," County Mayor David Jackson said.

An organizational meeting for the event will be held at the Marion County Commission Building on Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. CDT.

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at ryanlewis34@gmail.com.

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