Volunteers help clean Clovis in trash trek

J Harden, of Albuquerque, looks to see if he hit the bell as he takes a shot at the strength test during the 2004 Prariedoggapalooza Saturday at Clovis Community College. CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth.

By Jack King: CNJ staff writer

Volunteers from all over Clovis picked up almost two tons of trash Saturday morning in the annual spring cleanup sponsored by the city’s “Keep Clovis Beautiful” program, said Robert Saiz, a heavy equipment operator at the city landfill.
Parks and Recreation Director Rob Carter said participation is up in the event, which includes refreshments provided by area restaurants and prizes for groups collecting the most trash.
“We had 137 people turn out and we had about 70 last spring. Plus we had a lot more groups participate this year. And families, a lot of people turned out with their kids,” he said.
Winners of the Golden Dumpster, the gold-painted scale model of a trash receptacle awarded to the group that picks up the most trash, were several teenagers from the Clovis/Curry County Teen Court. The group collected 102 bags of trash.
In second place was a group of students, parents and teachers from Sandia Elementary who collected 81 bags of trash. Third place went to Boy Scout Troop 226, which collected 50 bags. Second- and third-place winners will receive certificates, Carter said.
Other residents who participated in the cleanup included members of Reach For Tomorrow, a service group in area junior high schools, and Cub Scout Pack 405.
Carter also said 47 Boy Scouts and troop leaders camped out overnight at Ned Houk Park and picked up trash there Saturday, but he didn’t yet know how much trash they had picked up.
He said the amount of trash collected this weekend could grow, because the city will keep the landfill open Saturday and Sunday so city and county residents can bring in the results of their private cleanups.
“Keep Clovis Beautiful” is affiliated with the national “Great American Clean Up” and is funded through a grant from the New Mexico Department of Tourism, Carter said.
The effort occurs each spring, with volunteers picking up trash along city roadsides. This year participants concentrated on Prince Street, from Brady Avenue to the city limits; and Mabry Drive, from Norris Street to the city limits, Carter said.
The next citywide cleanup, Trek for Trash, is scheduled for Sept. 25.