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Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke Clayton
April 16, 2024


Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke ClaytonThere was a time back when I was in my twenties and thirties that I thought I would be hanging…
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April 13, 2024

Close-to-home fun

Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
As an outdoors writer for the past 39 years, I’ve become accustomed to “gallavanting” around the country fishing, hunting and collecting material for my articles. Lately though, I’ve been sticking pretty close to home. Kenneth Shephard with a good “eater…

Let’s take better care of our natural resources

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From The Editors Desk Emily WootenWhat a good time we had last weekend at Tempe Creek Vineyard and Farms participating in the Earth Day fundraiser to benefit Polk County Recycling & Beautification (PCRB). It was a perfectly beautiful day spent visiting with friends old and new and enjoying live music, wine and charcuterie. Over 100 people attended and $11,000 was raised.

PCRB is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization formed by community members for the benefit of the community. It has partnered with Polk County to provide a reliable recycling service for the residents of East Texas, sustained by grants, donations and the sale of recyclable materials. Its goal is to clean up and beautify Polk County through recycling, education and community engagement in litter clean-up activities.

The recycling center can accept #1-#7 plastics, flattened corrugated cardboard, aluminum cans and tin cans. Materials should be relatively clean which will make them more valuable to buyers, helping PCRB to support the program for years to come. Materials should also be presorted as much as possible. To learn more about PCRB and the recycling center, or to become a volunteer or make a donation, visit the website at pcrbtexas.org.

In the 18 months that the recycling center has been open, over 140,000 pounds of materials have been diverted from the Polk County Landfill. That blows my mind. I find it amazing. A few people CAN make a difference. But that’s just it. Only a very small percentage of local residents use the recycling center. Think about it. Imagine just how much more stuff could be diverted from the landfill if more people took advantage of the recycling center.

We only have one Earth, with limited resources. The more we consume and the more trash that we create that ends up in landfills, the closer we are to running out of resources, negatively impacting people all over the globe. In this country, the average person produces roughly 2,000 pounds of trash per year. Trash that ends up in our landfills creates pollution in our air and water supply. Trash that is thrown on the side of the road eventually breaks down and finds its way into our water supply. There is a finite amount of land and water on this Earth and I feel strongly that we owe it to future generations to step up and take better care of our resources.

I think about Choates Creek that runs right through downtown Livingston and the many stories I’ve heard about it over the years. It is named for Moses L. Choate, Livingston’s founder. A native of Livingston, Tenn., Choate started a settlement called Springfield on his land grant in 1835 and wanted it to be the county seat when Polk County was organized out of Liberty County in 1846. He offered to give the new county one hundred acres of land if Springfield was selected as the county seat and the name of the town be changed to Livingston, for his former home in Tennessee. This was a very generous offer made by Choate, but the legislature required that an election be held to determine the location of the county seat for the newly organized Polk County. Following an election in June 1846, Springfield was decided upon and the name was changed to Livingston.

In her book “The History of Polk County,” Emma R. Haynes wrote, “By 1845 a number of people had bought land from Choate and settled on the creek and named the creek Choates Creek. When Sam Smith built his home on the bank of Coates Creek in the town of Livingston, he had to clear away the switch cane to build his house.”

Elsewhere in the book, Haynes lovingly wrote, “Choates, the last creek from Livingston is a pretty one. Wild azaleas and yellow jessamines bloom in the spring, and white violets bloom several times during the spring and summer. The clear cool spring water and pleasant shade trees invite one to come and spread a picnic lunch.”

What a beautiful image that is.

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