Fearrington Village Adopt-a-Highway Group

Fearrington Village Adopt-a-Highway Group

20 June 2015

Eleven Fearrington Village residents braved the heat and humidity this morning on a “Day Before the First Day of Summer” pickup and came away with 15 bags of trash. Well, we left the bags out there on the highway, trusting that DOT workers will fulfill their side of the bargain and pick them up this week. The last couple of times, they left a bag or two out there but trying to convince them to take a second swing-by is difficult.  It doesn’t helpt that DOT has not updated its online reporting site (yet) this year, leaving us the choice of reporting a pickup for either 2013 or 2014. One hesitates to force the issue, lest further complications arise.  In any case, our team today consisted of seasoned professionals Al and Ann Blackburn, Lee and Jim Wilson, Ann and Fran DiGiano, Malcolm Laner, Barbara Harris, Gene Rogers and David Field. Technically, David Field may not yet be a “seasoned professional” but he has learned the task so quickly, that we are proud to promote him. If anyone else out there would like to add such a prestigious line to your resume, do feel free to contact anne.beirne@gmail.com.  We’ll be happy to add you to our sign-up list. No money needs to change hands and there is no hard nor fast obligation. Just a willingness to help out, if and when you can!

27 April 2015

Six hardy souls were out again on this past Saturday…Wrong! There were seven…but one, Ray Albers, unable to join us at 8:30 am, instead went out an hour early and did major work on his own. Thank you Ray.  He is just the best.  On the other hand, I personally believe all our team members are  “just the best”. Ann and Al Blackburn are relatively new to the Village, but are among our most enthusiastic participants. (Al especially…)  Malcolm Laner is back after a bout with physical ailments. Sandy Jacobs and David Field are welcome newish additions. And of course there’s Colette File, whose efficiency and attention to detail are legendary. There are others who join us most times whom we’ll talk about next time. New members always welcome. anne.beirne@gmail.com!

20 December 2014

On Saturday, despite the snow, a group of nine stalwarts went out to clean up the highway for the holidays. Special kudos to Ray Albers and Chuck Waldron who got stuck with what was apparently the worst stretch; long after the rest of us were back home or celebrating with a hot chocolate at The Goat, they were still out laboring away.  We owe you one, guys!  Great finds this time out. A wallet belonging to a Fearrington Village resident was retrieved and returned. Thanks to all who came out this month: Colette File, Ray Albers, Barbara Harris, Nina Verin, Ann and Al Blackburn, Gene Rogers, and Chuck. Also, thanks to the 20 or so other volunteers who have come out during the course of the year to help ensure that the highway leading to our shared homesites is the cleanest in the state.  I greatly appreciate your cheerful smiles and dedication and I do believe our fellow Fearrington Village residents feel just as proud of you as I do. Happy New Year to all. See you at The Gathering Place, followed by Hwy 15-101! Anne

 July 19 2014

We did a pickup today, having skipped June. We’re also going to skip August. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is volunteer numbers!  We’re usually a little short in the summer as we all try to escape the heat. The heat is another good reason to take it a little easier at this time of year. So look for info for a September pickup. The good news is, even with a bit of time lapse between pickups, we’re still getting about the same amount of trash: 13 bags today, which is average.  The big find was a Visa debit card. Lunch is on… (kidding..) Also, noticed that the drinking habits along 15-501 are undergoing seasonal adjustments. An empty bottle of Cinzano today–so refreshing for summer drives, I guess. The usual Corona, Bud Lite, and today, a small bottle of Wild Turkey.  All empty. We checked.  Thanks to all who turned out. A cheerful, hardworking crowd making a difference for all of us! Jennifer Armstrong, Babara Harris, Ray Albers, Besty and Dan Green, Jim and Lee Wilson, Peter Wilkie, and Chuck Waldron.  You’re the best!  Anne

Dan and Betsy Green       Jennifer Armstron Barbara Harris    Ray Albers  Jim and Lee Wilson

April and May 2014

We had two pickups since our last report and both were efficient and timely.  Our May 24th pickup followed an accident that had occurred the previous day at the corner of Weathersfield and the highway, so there was glass and rubber and assorted other detrius in abundance. Our April cleanup had to be rescheduled to the 26th due to poor weather (remember those days?). In both cases, our stalwart group was able to get more trash into fewer bags…just one more way that we’re trying to help the environment. Thanks to all who came out. You’re the best!

MARCH 15: New Records Set!

What a great day out there on Highway 15-501 when a record (for us) group of 16 volunteers showed up to pick up the trash.  Some of our long time experts including Ray Albers, Barbara Harris, Ann Holoman and Colette File were joined by a few people we haven’t seen for awhile with a few newbies and relatively new newbies, including, but not limited to: Betsy and Dan Green, Jennifer Armstrong, and Al and Ann Blackburn.  With this fine group we were able to speed through the task and then a few stalwarts continued down the road to join other Fearrington Village residents, under the fine leadership of Betty and Simon Thomas Maarten, who had gotten together to help clean up the banks of the Haw River.  Good work everyone. Thank you.

15 MARCH PICKUPRecord group prepares to take on 15-501

Going down the highwayContinuing down to the Haw River for more trash duties.


February Clean-Up

It was about more than trash out there today.  Our hardy band, joined this week by some new volunteers, including Max Van Voorst, Gene Rogers and Jennifer Armstrong, who, along with other newbies and seasoned veterants helped pick up 19 bags!  (A new record, athough, a little more consolidation might be in order…just saying!!) Trash aside, the mysterious good luck of Ray Albers and Carol Kurtz continues.  First they picked up a $10 bill. Later, an AAA membership card. Later, some credit cards, college id etc.  All cards reunited with their owner. The rest of us had to be content with the usual–beer bottles, fast food bags, ciggies.  However, what a good job. Thanks everyone.  Next scheduled pickup is Saturday 15 March. Think of it as your pre-St. Patrick’s Day workout.

Hardy volunteers on 22 Feb included Earl Sharp, Jim and Lee Wilson, Jennifer Armstrong, Max Van Voorst and Ken Heisig. (Not shown, $10 found by Carol Kurtz and Ray Albers).

Gene RogersJim Lee WilsonJennifer ArmstrongMax and Earl

January Clean-Up

Eleven hardy souls, 10 packed trash bags. Thank you for showing up on a what was a chilly morning. The good news is we were out there before it got really cold!  Good to see Ray Andrews again alongside Ann and Fran DiGiano, Patrick Murphy, Pat Skiver, Carol Kurtz, Ray Albers, Barb Harris, Ann Holloman and Chuck Waldron.  Long time volunteers Colette File and Malcolm Laner had other duties today. Luckily, Pat Skiver found the perfect gift for Colette, duly delivered to her door. (Sadly, they turned out to be plastic….) Next pickup will be February 15th (the third Saturday of Feb.)  As we finally managed to meet a deadline for the newsletter (Hey! It’s a slow learning curve..), perhaps we will see some new volunteers next time out.  

Ann DiGiano and Pat Skiver with flowers for Colette File!  What a friendly, thoughtful group….




December Clean-up

Thanks to the stalwarts who came out on 21 December to get our Fearrington stretch of highway neatened up for the holidays.  We were eight sturdy souls who picked up 10 big bags of rubbish. Bigger than usual because there was a lot of consolidating underway. We go through bags at a great rate; the government bureaucrats who hand them out will, undoubtedly, be pleased. They’ll just have to go looking again for supplies for us.  The big find of the day was a truck brake, which didn’t make it into a bag, due to cumbersome size and weight. Neatly placed, however, next to the other orange bags.  That’s it for 2013. Thanks to all. We’ll see you on January 18 2014!

November Results

Thanks to a great team, members of which showed up in force on Saturday 16 November.  There were new (to me) faces, along with the stalwarts and it was largely done in record time. Except…poor Malcolm Laner. He took on the area around Anderson’s Store..where there had been an ugly traffic incident Friday evening. Malcolm was saddled with the debris. This was all the more taxing in that when he was an officer of the law back in California, the company that towed the cars/wrecks was also responsible for cleaning up the left-overs.  Malcolm was looking tired and worn by the time I prevailed upon him to call it a day. So cheers for Malcolm and for everyone else. Special kudos to Jim and Lee Wilson who have been married for 50 years and are still finding ways to enjoy being outdoors together. And to Colette File and Barb Harris, who are so keen.


Malcolm Laner cleaning up the debris  jim and wife     collette and Barb  


Successful pick-up 28 October

The “formidable” Colette File was going out there today anyway so I went along to see how it should be done. A few hours and nine bags later, we had things neat enough to see us through to our next scheduled Adopt-a-Highway pickup on Saturday 16 November.  This will be the weekend before Thanksgiving so anyone who’s around who can help out will be most welcome.  We will start at 8:30 am in deference to winter hours.  Thanks to all. ab



Apologies to those who did not get the email sent out early this am. When I saw there was a “Freeze Warning” on Weather.com until 9 am and the temperature was showing 26, I thought it was too cold to be out there picking up trash.  I have since learned that we don’t cancel for cold weather! Will work on a better way of informing people…I didn’t want to phone because of the sleeping spouse phenomenon, assumed everyone compulsively checks emails first thing and forgot that not everyone has figured out Sign-Up Genius yet.  So, my bad, all round. I did go out to buy sticky buns and waited at The Gathering Place for about 20 minutes in case there were those who did not get the message. I gather I should have stayed longer as some people showed up after I had left. Apologies. Also,  I have a bunch of extra sticky buns if anyone would like one… Re. Sign-Up Genius: When you get a message from Sign-Up Genius, if you click on the link you will get to the main “invitation” which has further info and a place to check whether you’ll be there or not. This am when I canceled, I had Sign-Up send an email to everyone who had indicated they would be here today. If you didn’t check your email, you didn’t get the message; if you hadn’t signed up through Sign-Up, you didn’t get the email anyway.

Well, a work in progress.  One of our newest volunteers (Go Pat Skiver!) had the excellent suggestion that if ever such an occasion comes up again, I could put a message right here on the website. Will do.  

Colette says she’s going out there sometime anyway this week and I’ve asked her to call me so I can make it if possible. Ray Alpers suggested I let everyone else know too, just in case, but I would not like you to feel imposed upon.  Officially our next pick-up will be 19 November so things will look nice for Thanksgiving.

If you have a better or alternative idea, please let me know. I can be reached at anne.beirne@gmail.com  or 533-6115.


Many thanks to the stalwarts who showed up today. We were seven…or possibly eight…A spy suggests another of our crowd was out on her own earlier. This will be investigated as clearly pictures are needed.  Anyway we picked up 13 bags of trash in about 14 hours of work.  The usual beer cans; styrofoam, which is far worse than plastic although plastic is annoying; a deer carcass (left untouched per guidelines) and an interesting looking, if permanently inanimate, turtle.  A number of us followed our morning jaunt with a great lunch, courtesy the Fearrington HOA Board, and if you’all were anything like me, a little rest in the afternoon. Thanks again. See you 26 October on the highway. Below, a few of the stalwarts, plus the defunct, but attractive, turtle.




Okay, folks. Time to start planning another great weekend and this one should be a doozy.  We will start at 7:30 on 21 September at The Gathering Place and then we’ll whip out there to the highway, get it spic and span, be home in time to shower and change and then attend the Volunteer Appreciation Brunch (details below).  Think how smug we can all look. 🙂  I’m putting out the usual notice through Sign-up Genius. As always, you can reach me at anne.beirne@gmail.com


11:00 A.M. TO 1:00 P.M.

Please RSVP to Debbie DiSabatino 919-542-2438 or debbiedisab@gmail.com by Tuesday,  September 17, if you plan to attend the brunch so they can gain an accurate catering count  and pre-print name tags for attendees.




August 24 Roundup and Results


IMG 2102   IMG 2111    IMG 2103   IMG 2106 

Nine hardy souls claimed first use of the new trash pickers. Ray Albers, Barbara Harris, Ann Holloman, Chuck Waldron, Ray Andrews Fran DiGiano, Ann DiGiano and Malcolm Laner gathered 14 bags and other extra trash, putting in 14 hours of work, and making the approach to Fearrington Village that much nicer…again. Thanks to all. 

Thirty-six hours and counting!

Our next pickup is Saturday 24 August.  Those present will have the first chance to use the fab new trash pickers.  You will be able to brag to your friends for years to come that you were there for the inaugural of these state-of-the-art tools. New members welcome! We meet at The Gathering Place at 7:30, divvy up our highway sections and head out in pairs.  An hour, an hour and a half, and we turn in our trash pickers till next time. Big prizes for those with the most interesting stories to tell (trash related). Prizes and awards to be determined at a future date…Anyone wanting more info, do contact me at 919-533-6115 or anne.beirne@gmail.com.  Don’t forget, your grandchildren will be impressed by your show of civic responsibility!

Emails have gone out…

..from Sign-Up Genius. We’re hoping this will be a good way to keep track of volunteers for our monthly clean-ups. We have new pick-up tools thanks to the FHA board. Looking forward to seeing a big group on the 24th. Also, new volunteers welcome!  We are all so proud of Fearrington Village, and when we drive up or down the highway and see the Adopt-a-Highway sign–and the neat aspect of the entry to our homes–we can all be pleased. Our group is at least three times better than many Adopt-a-Highway groups. The rules say we need to clean up a minimum of four times a year. Here at Fearrington–we do it 12 times!  This means a) our area looks great b) our time out there is not onerous.  However, no one volunteer needs to be out there 12 times. Can you come once, twice?  That would be great.  Cultural opportunities abound, including understanding the psyche of drivers who throw rubbish from their cars. We’re starting a contest for “most unusual” trash. Details to come!  If you’d like to be on our invitation list to come out, make a meaningful difference, meet great people, and have some fun, please email me at anne.beirne@gmail.com.  

The New Season Got Off to a Great Start on July 13, 2013




Left and Center: the Group Gathers  /   Right: Patrick Murphy was caught enjoying a reward.

We returned to the Gathering Place after the pick-up so Chuck and I could meet everyone. FHA Board Community Affiars Director Debbie DiSabatino served her devilishly delicious homemade sticky buns, which were a tasty “rich reward” for the highway clean-up. As under Bev and Ray’s excellent leadership for the past seven years, it’s the team that makes it special. The resident volunteers and Debbie’s baking made it easy, fun, and effective. Thanks to all.  See the July pick-up stats in the table below on this page. See everyone again in August.

Next Collection: Saturday, August 24th at 7:30am

We would usually do this on the last Saturday (August 31st); however, that would be over the long Labor Day weekend; therefore, we moved it to be a week earlier this month.

Announcing a New Coordinator for Fearrington Adopt-A-Highway!

NewAdoptAHighwayCoordinatorWe are so happy to announce that a new resident to Fearrington Village, Anne Beirne (far left in the picture) called Ray and me a few weeks ago and volunteered to take over the position as Coordinator of the Fearrington Village Adopt-A-Highway Group. Anne comes to NC from CA where she was active with an Adopt-A-Highway group. Anne will be assisted by her husband, Chuck Waldron (second from the left in the picture).

We can identify with Anne and her family, since it was eight years ago (January 2005) that we moved into Fearrington from CA and became coordinators of the group. Ray and I started picking up litter around Fearrington when we first moved to Fearrington Village. We jointly assumed the coordinator role 7 years, 4 months ago, in February 2006.

From our first day everyone in Fearrington was so supportive, and we have appreciated this.

Please join us for the next pick-up on Saturday, August 24th, 7:30am at the Gathering Place parking lot. Thanks for your support. We look forward to continuing to pick up with the group each month, and to assisting Anne and Chuck as much as possible. To join the group, to volunteer to pick up on some dates, or for more information, contact Anne

Volunteers usually meet on the last Saturday of each month at the Gathering Place parking lot to get equipment and work assignments. Collectively, we pick up litter from our assigned two miles of Route 15-501. Fearrington Village has been an active participant in the North Carolina Department of Transportation Adopt-A-Highway Program for more than 20 years. Our goal is to maintain property values and keep our beautiful state clean and green.

tools in shadows 1We presently communicate through e-mail, however, the Fearrington Forum may prove to be a more robust way of communicating information. The group meets at 7:30am during the spring and summer and 8:30am during fall and winter.  The work is not strenuous, and can be a good form of exercise. FHA provides the group with reachers to save our backs, and DOT provides the bags, vests, and gloves. We usually complete the task in two hours.

If you would like to become a member, just e-mail me.

Maps Showing Outline of Our Pick-Up Area

Point A North: Just Past Jack Bennett Road  to  Point B South: Bynum Cemetery (just past Mt. Gilliad Church Road)