The Project

Members of Scout Troop 119 in Henderson County (left to right, Shawn Autry, Derek McClure, Ed Dylan and Connor Wood) pick up litter near Parkers Crossroads National Battlefield as part of the Pickin' Up Tennessee Tour in June 2013. They are just four of the more than 200,000 people who help pick up more than 23 million pounds of litter in Tennessee every year. And even though most of the labor is volunteer, from businesses to Scout troops to work-release inmates from the county jails--the cleanup effort still costs taxpayers some $11 million a year.

Pickin' Up Tennessee is a multimedia grassroots project launched in March 2013 by the nonprofit group Scenic Tennessee. Made possible by a generous grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation with funding from the state's beverage industries, this project seeks to combine the new-age power of digital and social media with the timeless legacies of Tennessee music, volunteerism and stunning beauty, and use the results to vanquish, or at least subdue, the persistent problem of Tennessee's litter.


As an editorial in the Jackson Sun put it, Pickin' Up Tennessee "has something for everyone. It combines the anti-litter message with recycling, Tennesseans’ pride in volunteerism, the state’s rich musical heritage, history [and] culture, and Tennessee scenic and recreational venues from the Mississippi River to the Great Smoky Mountains." 

At the heart of Pickin' Up Tennessee are the Daily Video Journals from the Pickin' Up Tennessee 2013 Summer Tour. These videos follow Chattanooga filmmakers Dave Porfiri and Linda Duvoisin, accompanied by their two young daughters Jane and Harlan, as they criss-crossed the state for nearly 3,000 miles aboard the PUTN RV, filming litter cleanups, recording local music performances and visiting some of the state's most iconic beauty spots, from the shores of the Mississippi River to the heights of the Great Smoky Mountains. All 20 of the Daily Video Journals, along with pre-tour videos, full-length music performances and a rousing wrap-up video, can be viewed on The Videos page of this website as well as on Pickin' Up Tennessee's dedicated YouTube channel. To see a map of the tour route, click here.

Although the RV tour is over, the work of Pickin' Up Tennessee continues, and we will soon be releasing the official Pickin' Up Tennessee DVD / Double CD package. Check back soon to order yours!