With gloved hands, Lions Club member Bob Roberts plucked a fast food wrapper from the grass along Vaughn Road in Montgomery County.
“I hate trash,” said Roberts, who retired from the military and was among dozens volunteering for the inaugural Pike Road Spring Cleanup April 27. “You don’t see trash on base. I’m proud of my community and want to help keep it clean.”
Roberts is among thousands of community-minded volunteers across Alabama who grabbed their boots and bags for the Alabama PALS (People Against a Littered State) “Don’t Drop it on Alabama” Spring Cleanup, sponsored by Honda Manufacturing of Alabama.
“PALS shipped supplies and materials to 62 participating counties this year, surpassing all numbers from past spring cleanup efforts,” said PALS Executive Director Spencer Ryan.
Pike Road Communication Director Mary Catherine Barganier and other town leaders contacted PALS after noticing trash was beginning to accumulate at one of the town’s main intersections.
“The Pike Road area has always been known for natural scenic beauty,” Barganier said. “We don’t really have a litter problem at this point, but we have a lot of development that’s coming our way, so we wanted to get our residents engaged, looking at the roadsides and thinking about the future.”
To ensure litter control and education efforts continue after the Spring Cleanup, volunteers were encouraged to participate in the PALS Adopt-A-Mile program. The Lions Club was the first group to sign up.
“This is part of our effort to make sure this Spring Cleanup is not just a one-day effort, but that it goes on into the future,” Barganier said. “We want to get our neighborhoods, our civic groups, individual families and churches involved in an ongoing effort to keep our roadsides clean.”
Local businesses, including Home Depot and Advanced Disposal, donated supplies and services for the cleanup, and Alabama PALS provided trash bags. Communities within the town expanded the scope of the cleanup by encouraging residents to participate in landscaping and beautification projects.
Corey Courville picked up trash with wife Allison and town councilman Leroy Tolliver. Their strangest finds included a flip-flop and cache of about a dozen tobacco tins. The Courvilles hope their volunteer work will have a positive influence on passersby.
“It’s good for the community,” Corey Courville said. “It sets an example. Hopefully, when they see us out here, it gives them pause the next time they think about throwing something out.”
For more information about Spring Clean, Adopt-A-Mile or other Alabama PALS programs, visit www.alpals.org.
Alfa Insurance and Alabama Farmers Cooperative co-sponsor the PALS Clean Campus program.