Pollution Could Be Hurting Tourism In One Eastern Kentucky County

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Johnson County officials are trying to find ways to cleanup the trash and prevent people from destroying the beauty of the region. One of the most well known places affected is Loretta Lynn's home place.

Tourism directors in Johnson County are wasting no time saying it needs to be fixed and fast. They say people come from all over the world come to visit Loretta Lynn's home place and they don't want the trash to represent the area.

Paintsville tourism officials say hundreds of thousands of people take the drive to Butcher Holler every year, but they leave with more than just memories of Loretta Lynn's home place.

"I thought it needed a little bit of a clean-up, stuff on the side of the road," said Linda Meier.

Trash of all kinds is found all along the roadway leading to the tourist attraction. In a recent study, tourism commissioners discovered the all the trash is leaving a lasting impression on the visitors.

"The gentleman said you know, Loretta Lynn's home place is something to see, her brother is someone to meet, but he said, however, the one thing I remember is all the trash," said Nancy Price, Paintsville Tourism Director.

It's not what they want people from all over the world to see and remember.

"Tourism commission took this very serious. Let's do a major clean-up and try to make our county the cleanest tourist attraction in Eastern Kentucky," Price said.

"I'd like to see it cleaned up a little bit, better portrayed, because people from all over the United States seem to have this notion that Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee are ignorant Hillbillies and that's not true," Meier said.

Tourism commissioners are already gathering ideas for the clean up and asking for the community's help to stop the problem. They want tourists to leave with Butcher Holler with a good image of Eastern Kentucky.

We also talked to Herman Webb, Loretta Lynn's brother, who runs the home. He didn't want to go on camera with an opinion on the issue. Anyone who wants to help with clean-up is invited to. Tourism officials will have more information soon.

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