The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

January 27, 2014

Area residents help tackle Princeville clean-up


TARBORO — PRINCEVILLE — More than 70 volunteers braved the cold and windy conditions Saturday to spruce up the oldest town in America chartered by African Americans. The volunteers picked up paper and debris, cleared pine straw buildup off roads, removed downed trees and limbs from the cemetery and also cut the grass in the cemetery. Although the volunteers worked feverishly, they didn't come close to completing the monumental task.

"We've started a journey of a thousand miles," said the Rev. Thomas Jones of Tarboro. "It's a great beginning."

Jones, 72, and his crew, Rusty Holderness, 63, Milton Cherry, 60, Willie McDowell, 62, were by far the oldest crew. The foursome, began their task on Geddie Avenue.

"We really enjoyed ourselves," Cherry said. "We talked about Princeville and where it came from. We know what direction they are heading in and we are glad that we all are taking a part in it."

The cleanup is one of seven of Mayor Bobbie Jones' Strategic Planning Sessions. The town's most troubled area is the pine straw buildup on roads in the Greenwood Heights Community. On 6th Street, the width of the road is enough for three cars. However, if two cars pass at the same time, one would run over the pine straw on the road.

Former Princeville resident Michael Bennett volunteered his team of 14 to tackle 6th street. Bennett apparently realized the task at hand as he hired 10 people from Tarboro Community Outreach to take on the job.

For the complete story, see today's print edition of The Daily Southerner.