On March 30, Pine Mountain Settlement School received the PRIDE Volunteer of the Month Award, which recognizes an outstanding act of service performed in the 42-county region of southern and eastern Kentucky.
The school’s staff earned the award by volunteering to clean up along Laden and Little Shepherd Trails on Feb. 5. Thirteen volunteers worked four hours to pick up trash and remove dump sites in the scenic area.
They collected 12 tires, six mattresses, a couch and dozens of bags of trash that had been thrown over the mountainside. Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley and Magistrate Clark “Sparky” Middleton provided a truck to dispose of the items collected by volunteers.
“I want to thank the staff members of Pine Mountain Settlement School for their hard work and good deed,” said PRIDE’s Tammie Wilson, who presented a plaque at the school today. “I understand that you cleaned that rugged terrain during adverse weather conditions, so you deserve a special thanks.”
“At PRIDE, we always appreciate the opportunity to honor service in Harlan County because our co-founder, General James Bickford, grew up here,” Wilson added. “He was passionate about making our region the best it could be for us and for our visitors.”
“Thousands of Kentucky students who visit PMSS each year travel this road to participate in environmental education classes,” said Debra Callahan, operations manager at Pine Mountain Settlement School. “We wanted to have them return home with a positive impression of Harlan County.”
Pine Mountain Settlement School is a national historic landmark founded in 1913 through the vision of William Creech Sr. He donated land for the school as an, “old man’s hopes for the children of the Kentucky mountains,” Callahan said. Originally a boarding school, it operated as a community elementary school in partnership with the Harlan County School System until the 1970s.
Today, Pine Mountain Settlement School provides instruction to students and adults in environmental education, Appalachian culture and crafts. It serves the community through a variety of programs, such as children’s day camps, holiday activities and dinners honoring veterans and volunteers.
The PRIDE Volunteer of the Month program recognizes outstanding service through PRIDE, which promotes environmental education and cleanup efforts across 42 counties. Congressman Hal Rogers co-founded PRIDE in 1997 with the late James E. Bickford, who was the Kentucky Secretary of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.
For more information on PRIDE, visit www.kypride.org.