Eastern Kentucky PRIDE

Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment

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Holler Crawlers are stewards of Wilderness Road Off-Road Park

Larry Sawyers, president of the Holler Crawlers Off-Road Club, accepted the club’s PRIDE Volunteer of the Month Award.
Larry Sawyers, president of the Holler Crawlers Off-Road Club, accepted the club’s PRIDE Volunteer of the Month Award.

The Holler Crawlers Off-Road Club — which is based in Bell County and has 500 members from across the United States — won southern and eastern Kentucky’s PRIDE Volunteer of the Month Award for its dedication to cleaning the Wilderness Road Off-Road Park.

The club members volunteer regularly to remove trash from the 9,000-acre park, which has 120 miles of trails. It is located in Bell County with its entrance on US Highway 119.

“The Holler Crawlers give back to the great outdoors that they enjoy so much, and that’s what PRIDE is all about — recognizing that we benefit from the environment and then taking personal responsibility to care for it,” said Mark Davis of PRIDE, the nonprofit organization that promotes environmental cleanup and education in a 38-county region.

“Our club was formed in relationship to park opening, and we are the stewards of the park,” said Larry Stewart, President of the Holler Crawlers.

John Grace, Bell County’s Adventure Tourism Director, launched the Holler Crawlers when the Wilderness Road Off-Road Park was getting started in 2007. There were several dumps on the property, and the club got rid of them. Over the years, the club members have removed six illegal dumps from the park.

When litter becomes a problem at the park, the club members organize a cleanup event. It is advertised on the club’s Facebook page and members volunteer if they can.

“We usually have the cleanups on the weekends, and we’ve had people from Ohio and other states volunteer,” Stewart said. “We pick up trash for two or three hours, maybe four, and then we have a guided ride.”

“The Holler Crawlers have been a great asset to our county, and we appreciate them,” said John O’Boyle, Bell County Building and Grounds Supervisor and PRIDE Coordinator. He nominated the group for the PRIDE award.

The PRIDE Volunteer of the Month program recognizes hard work and dedication to the PRIDE initiative, which promotes environmental education and cleanup efforts in 38 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky. With corporate sponsorship from TECO Coal, WYMT-TV airs commercials about each PRIDE Volunteer of the Month.

“Volunteers are the backbone of PRIDE,” said Congressman Hal Rogers, who co-founded PRIDE. “We wouldn’t be where we are without our volunteers. More than 380,000 volunteers have helped with PRIDE cleanup and education projects. We want to thank TECO Coal for helping PRIDE give these generous people the recognition they deserve.”

“Please tell us about PRIDE volunteers who impressed you, so we can thank them,” Davis said. “Please call us, toll free, at 888.577.4339, or please go online to submit a nomination for the PRIDE Volunteer of the Month Award.”

The Wilderness Road Off-Road Park web site is http://wildernesstrailoffroadpark.net/.

The Holler Crawlers plan to conduct another cleanup before Thanksgiving. To volunteer or learn more about the club, please call John Grace at 606.499.0567.


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