This cleanup project began when the Adopt a Highway project here at Robson Ranch was canceled due to COVID. The trash was building up along Jimmie Kerr Blvd., so at the beginning of December, I went out to pick up trash. It can be done with no contact with anyone else. My original goal was to get to the I-10 Interstate. With the help of some volunteers from time to time, that goal was met after several months of going out when I could, or when I asked for volunteers.
When we finally made it to the I-10, I decided to see if I could not only get volunteers from Robson and Eloy, but Casa Grande as well. Most of the cleanup is in Pinal County, except for a few areas that belong to Casa Grande. I took some flyers out to the businesses along Jimmie Kerr Blvd. and asked Melissa St. Aude at the Pinal Central newspaper to put the cleanup date in the paper to get more volunteers out to help. I extended the cleanup to Trekell Road, the railroad side of Jimmie Kerr Blvd.
Chris Ruhe from the Eloy radio station contacted me after seeing an article Pinal Central did about the trash in Pinal County. He was excited to be a part of the project also. I got some radio time from that and met the mayor of Eloy.
I was determined to get the project completed to Trekell Road because that is what I had told the businesses along Jimmie Kerr. It took five months to finally get there.
Along the way, it took a lot of repeated cleanup. I looked at it like a painting: The painting isn’t done until you put the brushes away. I hate to see the trash come back because it doesn’t look like you ever spent the time to clean it up. But I also told some people that they might have to take my trash bags away to get me to stop, although the hot weather has put a stop to it for now.
Melissa from Pinal Central did an article to help make people aware of where they dispose of trash, and hopefully to get people not to throw their trash out of the car window. A lot of trash comes from trucks, along with the people that walk the road and deposit their trash in the desert.
I gave it my best and you may see me out there again in the fall, you just don’t know. At our age, it is a strain on the back so I get it when people can’t help. I had a husband and wife stop to give me $100 and told me to have a nice dinner because they couldn’t help. I had people stop and tell me I was doing a good job. One lady gave me $15 for trash bags. I know people were very appreciative of us getting the area looking nice.
I have many volunteers who I wish to acknowledge with a very big thank you for helping when I put out a request for help. Deb White and her daughters were out there on numerous occasions, along with Alice Schweitzer, Susan Brunell, Jim Green, and Randy and Beth from Iowa. You are all heroes in my book. Thanks to all who went out when the Adopt a Highway program started up again. My motto is Keep America Beautiful!