EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – On a sunny, windy morning at Spring Creek Park, the wide picture looks inviting.
The green of early summer still shows bright. There are whitecaps on Lake Arcadia.
But a closer look reveals the problem here: litter.
The lake is downstream of Oklahoma City and downwind of just about everything else, says Keep Oklahoma Beautiful Executive Director Jeanette Nance.
“So a lot of the trash we’re picking up isn’t just the weekenders visiting here. It’s from from Oklahoma City.”
Every spring, March through May, KOB organizes at least one cleanup in all 77 of the state’s counties.
Board member Patrick Riley has been on a few of these pickup expeditions and is amazed at the variety of litter he gathers.
“There’s so much litter that we pick up is comprised of things people use for such a short amount of time.”
Virgil Turner brought a dozen of his co-workers from the local Pepsi bottling plant to the park and Arrowhead Beach.
Each volunteer was armed with trash bags, gloves and grabbers.
The one thing he wishes more of is volunteers.
“I guess my challenge to people is that if you can take just one more person and have them start picking up, too, it’s just a domino effect,” he argues. “You’ll just have people start continuously picking up trash, then it becomes a habit.”
Natasha Belleson-Lutz had no idea what she might have been doing on this Tuesday morning as an HR manager.
She brought out a few of her office staff to work on this very human problem.
“Is this something you see as important,” asks a park visitor?
“Absolutely,” she responds, “We need to keep our parks clean and keep these areas beautiful.”
The numbers for 2022 are yet to be counted, but if last year is any indication, 3 million pounds of trash picked up won’t be far off.
The results are more clear, green spaces that stay green both looking at the big picture and close up.
For a better look at what the 2021 Great American Cleanup of Oklahoma accomplished, go to the YUMPU website.