The next Russell Cave Watershed Clean Up is scheduled for Saturday March 24. This clean up is sponsored by the SERA Karst Task Force and the Sewanee Mountain Grotto. This work day should finish the major trash dump on Orme Mtn Road. People wishing to help rig the highline or set up for the event can arrive as early at 9 AM Central. Volunteers will meet at the microwave tower at the intersection of State Route 156 and Orme Mountain Road (5 miles west from downtown South Pittsburg or 15 miles east from the 156 turn off in between Sewanee and Monteagle).
Directions: I-24 Monteagle, TN exit 134; Turn left from either east or west on I-24 and go to the first blinking light on 41A (appx 3 miles); Turn left onto 156 and go 18.8 miles to Orme Mt Rd.
Alternate Directions: From south and east of Sewanee, TN: From South Pittsburg TN follow 156 N to the top of the South Pittsburg Mt and Orme Mt Rd will be on the left 5 miles from downtown South Pittsburg.
Some folks may remember the SERA Karst Task Force partnered with Sewanee Mountain Grotto and began the clean up of the Russell Cave Watershed. On a 10 degree day in February 2006, at the first major trash dump site on Orme Mountain Road -- Cavers were literally waist deep removing trash, appliances, tires and other assorted household and automotive debris.
Most recently on March 24th, 2007 the two conservation groups and many volunteers again converged on this area. This charming little county road is approximately 3.5 miles long from the top of the plateau to the valley floor but contains several trash dump sites along its length that contribute to poor groundwater quality. On this day nineteen cavers came to lend a helping hand so it was decided all nineteen volunteers should work on this one trash dump site. A larger volunteer workforce could have been used to clean some of the other dump sites along the route. The Orme Tennessee Mayor Tony Reames along with Jerry Gosby, Bill Cash and Jordan Raines kindly volunteered to have food and beverages available at the Orme Fire Department for us all that evening. Additionally the Marion County Sheriff's Department John Hundley and Nathan Dillon provided the vehicle for the removal of approximately 80 tires that were hauled out of the ravine. At days end we all felt that sense of satisfaction that only comes with completing a clean up and returning the area to its previous natural splendor!
This February 2006 photo shows the volunteers wading in trash
This recent photo shows the results of everyone's hard work
We had to lift the Highline up and over a Bulldozer
The tires that were removed from the ravine
Caver's feast at the Orme Fire Department
Last Edit: Mar 26, 2007 11:25:31 GMT -5 by L Roebuck