KCCB, volunteers complete Fall Sweep
By PAMELA GRANT
Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful (KCCB) held its 2nd Fall Sweep event Saturday, and it was a big success with 89 volunteers cleaning up 440 pounds of trash.
The dedicated volunteers gathered outside of the Copperas Cove Public Library at 8 a.m. Saturday before dispersing to one of three cleaning locations, City Park, Eagle Trail waterway, or along Business 190.
KCCB provided safety vests, trash pickers, gloves, trash bags, and other supplies at the cleaning locations.
“This is just a great opportunity to go pick up trash and have fun while we’re doing it,” said KCCB Executive Director Roxanne Flores-Achmad. “We selected these three locations because, some people enjoy going to the park, especially if they have youth. For the waterway, we have that group that doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty and likes to get in the water. For the roads, you see that immediate impact as you are coming into town.”
Flores-Achmad said that they were taking a lot of precautions, including encouraging volunteers to wear masks and gloves, they encouraged social distancing which was made easier by having multiple locations, and they had all volunteers fill out a release form. Flores-Achmad said that she loved being able to make a difference by helping with the clean-up events.
To make things a little more fun, members of the Copperas Cove Five Hills royalty dressed like pirates for Talk Like a Pirate Day, as they cleaned up along the Eagle Trail waterway.
Norman Robinson lives in the area and bought donuts and water to distribute to volunteers who cleaned the Eagle Trail waterway as a way of showing his appreciation.
“The problem with this area is that the whole city’s trash washes down that brook—Turkey Creek,” said Robinson. “I bring donuts and water every year just to show appreciation…We do appreciate all the people that come out to help…So many people that don’t even live in the neighborhood are here.”
Millisa Ainley brought her son, Noah Ainley (10), and her niece, Lily Clarkson (13) to the clean-up event. She said that the kids were participating to help get credits for service hours, but also because they just enjoy getting out and helping to clean up their environment. Ainley said that they have come out to several clean-up events. Clarkson added that there are a lot of people that don’t care about the environment, so it was important for her to participate to help society realize the importance of cleaning up.
Members of Girl Scout Troop 20122 grabbed up bits of paper, Styrofoam, and other pieces of garbage, both large and small, that littered the City Park waterways. Led by Alisha Simson, troop leader, the girls learned about why picking up the trash is important. As they picked up trash, some of the kids talked about how they were making the Earth a better place and how to protect various habitats. Simson allowed the girls in the troop to lead the way and choose which areas to clean.
“We picked up some fishing line, and trash bags, and two dead fish,” said Bailey Simson (8) about some of the things they picked up. “It’s so the animals can live longer…It helps the Earth.”
“All the trash around the world can hurt the Earth,” said Alhana Collier (9). “There was lots of fishing line which could wrap around a duck’s neck and kill them, so we picked up all the fishing line.”
Those who are interested in volunteering can find out about future KCCB events on their Facebook page.
“Sometimes volunteers want to make a difference, but they don’t know how,” said Flores-Achmad. “If you have five minutes, you can come out and make a difference. You can clean up for a little bit and then you can leave. It’s just giving them opportunities. It doesn’t cost them a thing, we provide all the supplies, and they are able to make a difference in their community.”
Starting in October, KCCB will launch its “Adopt A Spot/Park/Roadway” initiative.