I really have not been out and about much in the last six months for obvious coronavirus reasons. I respect COVID-19 and still adhere to the CDC’s protection guidelines. I know people that have contracted COVID-19. The pandemic has had a terrible effect on our county. Life on the other side of my driveway gate has carried on even if at a “new normal” pace. I decided to leave my hermit world to reacquaint myself with Blount County.
The first thing I noticed were new projects aimed to remind us we live an admirable quality of life in Blount County. Have you noticed the murals being painted on exterior walls by the Oneonta Business Association? The one on the side of the old Little Joe’s location says it all: “Welcome to Oneonta, A great place to live no matter how you pronounce it.” It made me chuckle. Maybe the OBA will refurbish the angel wings soon.
Friends of the Locust Fork River has started a county-wide mural campaign by commissioning local artists to create murals that reflect Blount County – Awesome by Nature. The first one is painted on an exterior wall of a business in Cleveland. The second mural will be painted on a wall on Railroad Avenue in Oneonta. A third location has recently been identified and fundraising has begun to finance the project. The group says as long as people keep donating to the mural campaign, “awesome” murals will keep popping up in various parts of our county.
Our county commission has set its sights on making Swann Covered Bridge, one of the most popular county tourist attractions, a welcoming and pleasurable experience. A small portion of the adjoining property will be leased to the county to remedy parking problems. More property is probably needed, but it is the start to enhancing our “covered bridge trail.”
Another huge tourist draw to the county are our rivers and creeks for fishing, swimming, paddling, etc. The potential for environmental tourism is obvious and feasible. However, sedimentation is a problem for our streams. It is being addressed by Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and being implemented by The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Sedimentation is a form of pollution disrupting the wildlife food chain. Our county’s natural resource has national attention!
There are so many people investing time and talents to better our quality of life in Blount County. Some people are recognized by The Blount Countain every week on their Facebook page. The Blount-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce recognizes businesses that contribute to our quality of life. So much attention by so many people in so many ways. Blount County – Awesome by Nature.
It’s great… to be… an Auburn Tiger. Oops! Wrong exclamation. It’s great… to live… in Blount County! Are you seeing what is happening around us? We all should do our part to make our communities the best they can be. I will. Will you?