By Jack King
Who knew “Trek for Trash” could be such an adventure?
“I’ve picked up two dead birds and a rat,” said Delinda Ashburn, one of a team of 12 people from Citizens Bank who turned up at the city Parks and Recreation Department headquarters at 8 a.m. Saturday morning to help with Clovis’ annual fall trash pickup.
With other volunteers, the group started at the city limits on Mabry Drive, then moved west and later switched over to 21st Street, heading west toward Norris Street. Kathy Wall, the group’s informal spokeswoman, said they probably picked up 12 bags of trash, mostly paper, sticks, rags and cans.
They also saw a lot of wildlife, both alive and, well, less alive.
“I think that flat one was a coyote,” said Mary Anaya.
Raena Schneiderman, 10, Molly Schneiderman, 8, Gracie Schneiderman, 7 and Maggie Schneiderman, 4, were out beside 21st Street with their dad, Lynn Schneiderman, all decked out in the free visors and gloves provided by Sonic Drive Ins, and the day glow orange traffic vests, provided by Parks and Recreation. The Schneidermans had been out about a half hour, Lynn said, and already had picked up one large bag of trash.
Asked if they had seen anything interesting, the girls chorused delightedly, “We saw a snake head.”
Parks and Recreation Director Rob Carter said about 80 people turned out for Saturday’s clean up, including groups from Citizens Bank, Curry County Teen Court, the city Parks and Recreation and Public Works Department Sanitation Division and several private volunteers like the Schneidermans.
Mayor David Lansford, his son Miles and Miles’ friend Logan Garner picked up trash on Mabry.
“We worked on Mabry Drive from the K-Bob’s area on both sides of the street for a quarter of a mile. We did a lot of ‘weed eating,’ too,” the mayor said.
Carter said Saturday’s turnout wasn’t quite as big as the one in April, when 180 people pitched in for the Clovis Spring Clean Up, but the results were just as good.
“The north and south sides of Mabry look really good. The volunteers and the people from Public Works and Parks and Rec did an outstanding job,” he said.
Johnny Rodriguez, the gatekeeper at the Clovis Landfill, said Saturday afternoon that seven tons of trash had been recorded, but personnel at the landfill were still counting.
About 11:30 a.m., the volunteers knocked off and met at Parks and Recreation Department headquarters for pizza, provided by CiCi’s, Pizza Hut, Dominoes and Papa John’s, and sodas, from the Pepsi Bottling Group.
In spite of a supreme effort by Citizens Bank, the coveted Golden Dumpster, awarded to the group that collected the most trash, went to 12 high school students from Teen Court. Teen Court director Karen Land-Garcia was gracious in victory.
“You guys from Sanitation, I will share this with you,” she said, flourishing the gold-painted scale model of a trash receptacle over her head.
The sanitation division provided crews and trucks that ran up and down the roads all morning picking up trash bags as volunteers filled them, she explained.
“I’m always proud to see people from the community come out to make it a better place,” Lansford said. “I’m grateful when I see people who didn’t have to be here, including the city crews. They are here on their day off.”