The Pride of the Island
Town’s arm of responsibility re-emerges under a different brand
By Charlie Morrison
A quarter hour hadn’t yet passed during the first-ever meeting of newly established, all-volunteer “James Island Pride” committee before the group collectively cut to the chase. “So …,” began longtime Town activist and committee member Gary Millikan with a wry smile. “How many trash bags does $1000 buy?” Many of the group’s members had never met one another, yet Millikan’s quip drew a spirited laugh from the committee members, none of which was seen recoiling in the momentary shock one experiences upon realizing the joke has truth to it. The laugh instead was of a motivated group undeterred by a challenge such as a limited budget. The committee will be responsible for addressing the environmental concerns of the island, most notably its beautification.
Committee Chair Grant Scurry kicked off the afternoon’s business with a short statement summarizing his, and likely many committee members’ reasons for getting involved in the JIPC. “I was helping out the Boy Scouts with one of their pick-ups, but I told (Town Councilwoman and Pride liaison) Mary Beth (Berry) I still really wanted to see if I could do my part even further. I wanted to give my time and effort to see if I could make a difference … so that’s why I’m here,” began Scurry before offering up an anecdote related to the trash problem on James Island.
Scurry related a story of offering to drive an excited out-of town couple he was hosting down some of James Island’s idyllic scenic byways only to be horrified and embarrassed at the amount of litter that had come to rest along, Riverland Drive for instance. Empathy for Scurry’s embarrassment at the island’s relative state of disrepair, as each nodded fervently with his comments.
In December, James Island Town Council approved JIPC officer appointments of DeAnn Grayson as secretary, the treasurer Milliken, and Committee Chair Scurr. Councilwoman Berry will serve as Council liaison
The predominant focus of the meeting was preparing for the County-wide Adopt-A-Highway litter pickup happening throughout the Lowcountry on Feb. 2. The group brainstormed on how to best involve other community groups in coordinating a massive litter clean-up, most notably the many neighborhood and homeowners associations spread across the island, the numerous religious and secular groups that have in the past chipped in, and the involvement of the local schools. James Island Charter High School Science teacher Michelle Lee was unable to be in attendance, but rest assured, she and her science and recycling clubs will be on board. They’d better be … as $1,000 only buys so many trash bags.
For more information and updates on the plans and progress of James Island Pride, visit their website at http://www.jamesislandsc.us/boards_and_commissions/james_island_pride.php.