April 1, 2010
Pride shines in Hudsonville
Saturday, March 20, was the first day of spring and a glorious day in the Hudsonville community when residents restored their community’s beauty with a trash pickup project.
The drive to clean up the trash was spearheaded by community residents, who were assisted by the Marshall County Board of Supervisors with District 2 supervisor Eddie Dixon taking the lead.
Three large pickup loads and one flat-bed trailer load of trash were collected from Hudsonville Road and Russom Road and carried to the county dump, Dixon said.
“I was surprised at the turnout and it looked like they had so much fun,” he said.
Residents gathered early in the day to get free trash bags and plot the strategy and many worked into midafternoon. Some favorite, but illegal, dump sites in ditches were cleaned out by the ladies, Dixon said.
He hopes this kind of community pride and action will be contagious.
“I wish this would just catch on in other communities,” Dixon said. “It brings a closeness. If we don’t take care of our communities, who will?”
Dixon said there is just too much trash on the roadsides to expect the sheriff’s inmate crews to keep up with it. He believes clean roadsides will deter further littering and send a message to potential criminals to not come in and steal or deal drugs.
And in tough economic times for taxpayers, self-help will go a long way towards keeping communities beautiful and safe, Dixon said.
“Times are economically tight and so we are doing things for ourselves,” he said. “We will band together to make it through these tough times.
“We will stop sitting back and looking for someone to take care of our community. It’s not the sheriff’s problem; it is ours. Our community is just too beautiful to let it just sit there and go down.”
Dixon said a community can clean up the roadsides and ditches by each resident cleaning the frontage on their property and some to either side. He also suggested that residents turn in people who dump their used goods in the ditches.
“We need to get started on this,” he said. “It will only get worse, if we don't do something.”
One organizer of Saturday's cleanup in Hudsonville was Ronnie Caldwell, a Holland Road resident who is division manager of solid waste services for the city of Bartlett, Tenn. He is proud of both the turnout for the project and the results.
“We are all proud of the way our roads look and want it to extend beyond our immediate community,” Caldwell said. “We would be happy to assist others in organizing cleanups like we did. I feel that raising everyone’s awareness is the first step in cleaning up our county. We could eventually lean toward recycling projects.”
The core group who got the project moving included Caldwell and his wife, Harriett, conservationist Suzanne Langley and Tom and Jane Heineke. Others who joined the party included Wanda and Mike Boone, Chad Pope, Yvonne Holland, Minnie Hampton and Bernice Crumb.
Langley said Harriett Caldwell of Hudsonville helped get the movement started earlier this year when she said to neighbors, “We should get a cleanup day together.”
A few planning meetings later produced 22 Hudsonville residents dressed out and ready to participate in the first Hudsonville Community Cleanup March 20, the first day of spring.
“The residents began early Saturday walking along Highway 313, Holland Road, Old Hudsonville Road and Russom Road gathering beer and soda cans and fast food bags and pulling old appliances and tires from ditches and seasonal creeks that are a part of the Coldwater River watershed,” Langley said. “Church members from Grays Chapel got the cleanup underway early on Friday.
“We hope other communities in Marshall County will plan cleanup days.” Yvonne Holland, a Grays Chapel member, said the cleanup brought unity and concern to the community.
“It was just a blessing from the Lord,” she said.
Persons of all ages helped, Holland said, including an elderly woman of about 80 years age, and parents with children one year old and younger. Two girl scouts were among the volunteers. They will be able to count their time as community service in their portfolios.
“They had their children out there with them working and that says a lot about stewardship,” she said.
The actual cleanup began with some volunteers picking up trash the Sunday before and the Friday before March 20, she said.
“We were just a working community,” Holland said. “It would be nice if people would not look to one person to do it. When you do it together, it doesn’t seem as hard. It was work, but it was fun.”
Holland credited Langley for coordinating the event and getting the word out to the individual residents.
Contact any of these Hudsonville residents or Dixon (662-551-6803) or the county administrator’s office (662-252-7903) to ask for help in organizing a community’s road cleanup event. For more information, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
News: (662) 252-4261 or email@example.com
Questions, comments, corrections: firstname.lastname@example.org
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