Two Special “Keepers”

January 18, 2023

We’ve mentioned Paula Swartz and Gordie Curmudgeon before, but they continue to play such an important role in the Waterfall Keepers mission that we’d like to give them a shoutout again. Between the two, they’ve filed dozens of waterfall adopter reports and cleaned up hundreds of gallons of garbage and literally tons of stuff too big for a trash bag. 

Paula does her cleanup work in Headwaters State Forest, with help from Carol Vickery and Marsha Devan. Three to five times a week you can find Paula in the forest, cleaning up everything from tossed beer bottles and tires, to major dump sites that require multiple trips. Some of the sites she cleans up require using ropes to assist her on the steep terrain. When we asked her why she does all this, she joked, “Because I’m nuts!” Then she followed up with, “For the love of the forest.” We can relate.

You might find Gordie doing good deeds anywhere across western NC. He leads hikes for others, picks up trash, and provides warm and fun companionship for anyone fortunate enough to know him. He’s filed more adopter reports than anyone, and he’s the person who patrols the road during our quarterly Adopt-A-Highway cleanups to make sure everyone is safe. Curmudgeon isn’t really Gordie’s last name. Fact is, we don’t know what his real name is because he’s too much of a curmudgeon to tell us!