Saturday Morning Cartoons? More Like Saturday Morning Trash Pickup!

Group photo in downtown Manteo.

The Town of Manteo held a litter pick up day named after Rodney “Crow” Murray. Hundreds of people showed up to enjoy coffee and doughnuts before setting out in the crisp fall weather. People were divided into groups to cover different areas of the town.




Our group led by Jaye Massecar (Friends of Elizabeth II Operations Director) picked up along back roads, the cemetery, the highway, and in front of the elementary school. We found a lot of cigarette butts, candy wrappers, and beer cans. It was interesting to see the different kinds of trash and where it was mainly located which was along the highway. Jaye told us that a lot of people tend to throw trash out their car windows. It is important to do litter pickups especially in a town like this where sewer ditches need to be cleared when heavy rains come to prevent excessive flooding.

We were able to fill five trash bags by the end of the day. However, as a whole, the town manage to collect a truck full of garbage!

A lot of people found really interesting items in the ditches:  birdhouse, a duck decoy, and children toys. I found what appears to be a jewel placed on a pet collar.

The morning ended with pizza provided by the town to thank those that all showed up. It’s always a good day to help the community look clean and beautiful!



To Preserve, To Prosper, To Pet Cats!

Do not worry I will totally explain the cat thing, but my internship for the OBXFS 2016 was with the Town of Manteo. Located conveniently down the street from the Elizabeth Friends II house, I was able to walk to my internship every Monday and Wednesday (so do not worry if you have a car or not!).

My mentor was the wonderful Erin Burke who taught me all things related to being a town planner in a small town. The first day of my internship, Erin took me along to learn the history of the town and to meet people who have lived in Manteo for years! It is a very close-knit community and I was so happy that I was able to be apart of it.

My main task was to develop a unified recycling program for the Town of Manteo. This required me to draft a proposal bid to submit to the Board of Commissioners for approval to place the bid in the local paper. The bid is to advertise to contractors that the Town of Manteo is in need of supplies and labor for a recycling program.

However, when I was not working on the new recycling program, I was helping to refurbish an old playground. A lot of the equipment was rusted and out of date, so children could no longer safely play. When the project was completed, it was heartwarming to see the kids rush to play after school.

I also attended meetings hosted by DOT, Government Education TV, and FEMA to get a first-hand look into the inner workings of local and regional government.

Now the moment you have all been waiting for!

Along with my internship, I made a new friend: TOM the town cat. His name stands for the Town of Manteo (GET IT??). He came to the town hall to live several years ago and never left. He lives in my office and demands belly rubs throughout the day. He was definitely an added plus to my time working for the Town of Manteo.

The staff in Manteo is amazing and helpful. The knowledge I gained here definitely helped me pick a career path after I graduate. I look forward to trying my hand at being a town planner just like my mentor!

Columbia, NC Population: 891, now 905

Who knew that we were just miles away from one of the smallest towns in North Carolina?! Columbia, NC has a population of just 891, so the students were a little more than dismayed to find out that “nightlife” is pretty nonexistent. However, that did not stop the OBX family from having one heck of a good time!

The field trip to Columbia, NC was a part of our two-week orientation to get us acquainted with our new territory.

Orientation week: team bonding on the pier!

We started off the day with an art class at Pocosin Art Lodge. There were no crayons, markers, or pastels in sight. Instead, this art class contained saws, bowls of sulphur, and a drilling machine! Needless to say, as a very clumsy person, I was afraid to touch anything!

Watching Laurel guide us through the process.

Our class was taught by the very talented Laurel who has been studying art for years. She told us that we would be making key chains with pictures of either wolves or bears. These key chains would have a copper back and plastic front held together by copper bits drilled through to hold the back and front together.

We selected our pictures and got to sawing and drilling. While the process took a lot of patience and concentration the end result was magnificent. The key chain Gods would be proud of us!

The rest of the morning was spent discussing the human dimension of our capstone but afterwards, we were let loose to discover what lies in Columbia. We found a few gems: an antique store that sold 300 dollar vintage dolls, Red Wolf Coalition headquarters, and Elements cafe that looked like it belonged in a magazine.

We had a fantastic dinner from catered by Elements Cafe where Laurel and David Clegg, who is the county manager for Tyrell, joined us.  Mr. Clegg told us everything there was needed to know about Tyrell county. A politician with a theatre background made for an interesting discussion about how Tyrell county involved into what it is known today.

The night continued with catching Pokemon and an encounter with a couple who manages Scuppernong Gazette. We landed a picture that was posted on the Scuppernong Gazette Facebook page.

Finally Famous!! Posted on the Scuppernong Gazette Facebook page!

We spent the night in the Pocosin Art Lodge which ended after Julia and I whooped Jack and Andy (Economic professor) in spades. GIRLS RULE!

Julia and Tamara. Spade masters of Columbia, NC

img001-2The next day we spent with Ken Cherry, the richest man in Tyrell county. We asked about the history of the town and how people have formed opinions about the wildlife among them. We looked through his art gallery and were later taken to his farm where bears, wolves, and coyotes frequent.

All in all Columbia, NC is a hidden gem. Big memories made in such a small town!

We can never take a serious photo haha!