By Jeff Johnson
What a difference two hours makes! When 200-plus volunteers of all ages, from all segments of our community roll up their sleeves and work together, a lot of work gets done. Last Saturday, April 12, that meant a lot of litter got picked up in Holbrook–nearly 100 bags, in fact.
The city was divided into 20 zones, ranked from most littered to least littered, with some zones judged easy to clean and others not suitable for young children. Volunteers could choose which zones they wanted to clean and then, after picking up their trash bags and instructions from the headquarters at Hunt Park, they headed out to get the job done.
Nearly 40 Girl Scouts and their leaders took on the assignment of cleaning up a huge tract of ground in and around Hunt Park. While many individuals came without group affiliation, some of the known groups, besides the Girl Scouts, included the Life Teen group from Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, various groups from within the LDS church, Arizona Public Service Co., Calvary Chapel, Peace Lutheran Church, Sun Valley Indian School, Bread of Life Mission, students from Holbrook High School, the Baha’i group, Cellular One, Friends of the Library, Joe & Aggie’s Cafe, City of Holbrook employees, Holbrook Enriching Lives Partnership (HELP) Coalition members and Holbrook Painted Desert Kiwanis Club members.
The effort was given a huge boost by the participation of approximately 40 students and staff from the Holbrook Seventh-day Adventist Indian School, who came and worked on Friday, cleaning up the huge and very littered lot between Taco Bell and Burger King on Navajo Blvd. This leg-up allowed Saturday’s volunteers to focus on other clean-up areas. Thanks go to Mike O’Dell of Arizona’s Clean & Green for organizing the SDA’s involvement.
Thanks also go to the City of Holbrook for providing the trash bags and safety vests for this undertaking, as well as for providing a truck and driver on a Saturday to go throughout the city collecting the many filled trash bags and hauling them away.
By 11 a.m. on Saturday, after two hours of united effort, Holbrook looked so much better. Of course, the strong winds of Saturday afternoon and Sunday blew in more trash, but let’s hope that the vision of a cleaner community encourages each of us to take the initiative on our own, to pick up that trash and keep Holbrook a more attractive place to live, work and visit.
Thanks to all who assisted with this endeavor in any way.
By Jeff Johnson