Wednesday night’s public meeting in Nome was the first step in what’s sure to be an extensive process of exploration and permitting for Graphite One Resources—the Vancouver-based company that’s been exploring the second-largest known graphite deposit in the world, here on the Seward Peninsula.
For the past two years, Greg Mitchell has been fighting a one-man crusade against Nome’s litter. He’s walked Nome’s streets and scoured its beaches picking up cigarette butts, plastic bottles, pop cans, and more.
Recently, though, Mitchell’s been getting help. Calling it a “community beautification project,” he’s been accepting volunteers between the ages of 8 and 12 to help him in his fight against garbage. Parents sign a waiver granting their kids permission to pick up trash, while Mitchell provides safety gear, a trash bucket, and more. The first hour is free—Mitchell calls it the civic “honor hour”—but after that, Mitchell pays the kids in cash or in donated items like movie tickets. He says it gives kids something to do during the summer, helps keep the community clean, and even deters would-be litter bugs.