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Creation restoration cleans Highbridge sinkhole

By Kayla Lutes

AmeriCorps VISTA for AdventureServe PR

On Wednesday, July 12, a group from First United Methodist Church (FUMC) in Moorestown, N.J. partnered with AdventureServe Ministries for a week-long creation restoration trip in Wilmore. AdventureServe is a non-denominational, non-profit organization dedicated to serving local communities and providing Christian wilderness and missions experiences to church youth groups. Their creation restoration trips serve communities by caring for the environment.  

The group of 25 volunteers is staying at AdventureServe’s campsite in Wilmore. AdventureServe staff, Anna Thompson and Sarah Hyde, served as guides throughout the trip. The group started the week cleaning one of the Kentucky River’s dams, filling two trucks with 50-pound trash bags full of tires, wooden posts and trash. On Tuesday, they helped with trail maintenance at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary. 

FUMC Youth Director, Kathy Clawges, was drawn by the opportunity to show her youth group a different way to serve. “We usually do construction mission trips, and I felt like it was important to take care of God’s creation as well,” said Clawges.

The sinkhole, located on a farm near Highbridge, has been used as a landfill for generations by the family that lived on that property. The group worked to fill nine trucks and trailers with trash from the sinkhole.

AdventureServe partnered with Richie Horn of the Jessamine County Recycling Center, who provided trash bags and waived the dumping fee.

“Where our trash goes is a moral issue,” said AdventureServe Executive Director, Andy Bathje. “And it’s cool to be able to do physical things to act out our cause.” 

Hyde emphasized that environmental care does not have to be a planned trip, but that it can happen anywhere. 

“It doesn’t have to be a mission trip in Kentucky,” she said. “They can pick up trash in New Jersey. I hope this trip creates a desire to keep everything clean.”

The group also partnered with Bluegrass Greensource for a service project in Lexington, and ended the week by picking up trash and clearing graffiti from a cave wall near Mt. Vernon.

“As we’re learning more about how the waste we’re creating is affecting the environment, more people are becoming aware of it, and I think that’s a really good thing,” said Thompson. “Cleaning up the places we’re going and leaving them better than they were, that’s what excites me.”