In an move that may spark nationwide interest, residents of this west Kentucky town believe they can-- once and for all --completely rid the town of shade. Beginning in early March, citizens of Clinton, Kentucky launched a grassroots effort to confiscate and systematically destroy all visible tree branches.
J.K. “Rexie” Ross, Clinton cannonizer, is among those voicing support for the effort. “They were everywhere” he said. “You couldn’t see the sky for those things.”
When asked about the origin of the project, most community leaders were stumped.“The idea came from Clinton’s radical core,” one citizen admitted. “But now splinter groups have formed in Fulgham and Water Valley." Oakton has one of the largest limb nullification projects in the area. For weeks at the onset of the project residents worked day and night, abandoning their jobs and rejecting computer and television as “distracting.” Most even resisted cell phone use.
“It’s impossible to log all the hours we’ve given to this effort,” one worker commented. An elderly lady added, "I feel like I've been pulled through a knot hole backwards."
There has been opposition, though largely hollow. One homeowner was seen lumbering aimlessly in his orchard seeking shade. Neighbors believe he has a deeply rooted problem. "He's an indolent sort, certainly not executive timber," one noted.
In this case and others like it, the state department of deforestation takes up the slack, attacking offending limbs with their own bucket trucks and chain saws. The workers are in high spirits. “No hangers in this town,” one barked. “We’ve stripped the place clean.”
With trucks running 24 hours a day much of the tree refuse has been relocated south of town. Once only the size of QE II, the growing wood pile is now roughly the length of Delaware. Ex-zetta Bencini, local journalist, said Clinton residents will bend but never break. “We won’t stop until every branch is gone, ” she said. “This town knows how to stick to it.”