Cleaning up for Greening Up

Volunteers clean a sidewalk as part of Cleaning Up the Mountains in 2019.

By Tessa Bradshaw


Jackson County will receive a makeover this weekend in preparation for Greening Up the Mountains.

Cleaning Up the Mountains is an associated event to clean and prepare the town for the annual street festival, which is usually in the last week of April but has been pushed to Aug. 28.

“We have decided to put together an initiative to spruce things up in advance like we used to,” Main Street Economic Development Director Bernadette Peters said.

Cleaning Up the Mountains will be on Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon each day, and volunteers can either sign up with the Sylva Rotary Club or join volunteers in downtown Sylva during the event.

“We always want to put our best foot forward to visitors as they come,” Peters said. “It’s been a tradition that was started a few years ago by some citizens in the area who wanted to work on sprucing things up before folks come in and see us for the first time and experience downtown Sylva.”

The purpose of the event “is to get downtown and Mill Street extra clean before Greening Up the Mountains,” Sylva Director of Public Works Jake Scott said.

Adding mulch, cleaning trash on streets and sidewalks and gardening are some of the goals of the two-day event, Peters said.

The annual event has been postponed many times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Scott said.

Cleaning Up is coordinated by the Town of Sylva Public Works, Main Street Sylva Association, Sylva Rotary Club and the Sylva Garden Club.

Volunteers do not need to sign up to attend the event, but the Sylva Rotary Club encourages people to contact Eddie Wells at so they can get a headcount and prepare for the event. Volunteers who do not sign up can attend the 8 a.m. Friday meeting at Bridge Park or join volunteers in the downtown area later in the day.

At least 10 people for each day have signed up with the Rotary Club, but the number of volunteers who will be helping is not known, Peters said.

Greening Up the Mountains runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28, at Bridge Park. The event brings many people from the surrounding counties, and is one of the largest in the region, Scott said.