Community Programs & Initiatives
Now that the paper mill in Canton, North Carolina finally closed in June 2023 and we are no longer in danger of detrimental levels of water pollution in the Pigeon River that have been present for over a century... We are up against the biggest fight of our lifetime here in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee ~ a $2 Billion dollar development project has been privately in the works for Hartford, TN. Located in Cocke County, there can be no doubt that the interests and ambitions of this massive project lie outside of respect or concern for the Appalachian culture, people, and ecosystems, as there have been no indications of the local community or the environment being seen as stakeholders in this project although it has been in the works for at least 5-7 years. Hartford is well known for whitewater rafting in the summer and for it's surrounding natural beauty with forests, trails, creeks - and lack of major human population – year round. Over the past 5-7 years Velocity has been privately planning with the county without any public knowledge, buying property under multiple individual and llc names throughout district 1, and as of 2023 beginning to buy out the small business rafting companies and their land along the Pigeon River as well. While county officials are denying any involvement or knowledge, we have found extensive proof otherwise. Take a look at this 39 page plan that clearly outlines a chilling narrative in full color: there will be no more Hartford, there will be no more Appalachian culture, there will be no more natural beauty and environment left if they are successful at their big city dreams in our corner of Appalachia, one of the last bastions of these mountains and its people not already destroyed by coal mining, mountain top removal, fracking and unchecked development.
This is not a rumor, this is not a test. This is a real fight to #savehartford. For more information or to show support, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow us on facebook @ Save Hartford, and sign the petition at Change.org.
Youth in Action
CWEET has a special love of working with youth. Early on we developed a Youth Media group who created spoof videos about the 100 years of pollution. They had the privilege of working with members of Bread and Puppet Theatre to create life sized puppet heads of fish representing the Pigeon River. In 2018 a new teen youth group was created called Kids with Pinecones that CWEET has sponsored and supported. KWP has created art workshops to fund tree planting, held trash pick-ups in Hartford and GSMNP, facilitated direct action to raise public awareness on climate change, and created healthy social interactions for their age groups. CWEET and KWP are planning to facilitate a Teen Hideaway at the Get Off the Grid Fest in Chattanooga in August 2021. Panel discussions, art activities, personal growth, and activism will be explored in a youth-directed atmosphere.