DOUGLAS — Over the years Airport Park has been known to attract a lot of visitors who have a tendency to leave with their garbage strewn about.
A community cleanup effort was held at Airport Park on Sunday, June 27, when an estimated 25 volunteers showed up and spent two hours picking up garbage. Some of the people who showed up were first-timers wanting to help make a difference in keeping the community clean.
By the time the cleanup effort was completed, 25 bags of garbage had been collected. The bags were then dumped into a trailer provided by the city of Douglas and taken to the landfill.
Much of the garbage included carelessly discarded plastic water bottles, cans and face coverings but the most unusual find of the day were some camouflage clothes and carpet shoes people use when smuggling items across the border. There were some remnants of a gender reveal party that had taken place.
Desiree Rice, owner of Classy Cuts & Such, organized the cleanup effort, the first being last September. Since then she has focused on various parts of Douglas. Rice said she selected Airport Park for this cleanup because she visits the park on a regular basis and is disgusted by the amount of trash she finds lying on the ground.
“One day I was walking here with my best friend and saw all the garbage. We picked up two bags full of trash in just a few minutes,” she said. “I am so appreciative of everyone who showed up today. I know it’s hot, that’s why we started an hour earlier than normal but I feel we made a difference here today.”
Rice said she was able to obtain a grant through the Douglas Elks Lodge, which helped her purchase some items such as garbage bags, tools, etc. She was providing her own money toward the cleanup effort.
“Having them participate helped bring more people out,” Rice said. “I’m super excited about having the Elks on board. I think that is really going to help out. We also had our local Boy Scout troop show up today, which I thought was awesome. Thank you to those young men and their leaders who helped out.”
Marina Montano, one of the troop advisors on hand for the project, said the Boy Scouts try to perform some kind of community service project each month and she felt the cleanup effort would be a good one to take part in.
“It was hot today,” Montano said. “But I’m glad we’re here to help out. We all need to do our part to help keep our community clean.”
Rice said there is still a lot of garbage at the park and she would like to go back at least one more time if possible.
“From what we saw today there are a lot of illegals crossing through here,” she said. “It seems they come through here and leave their garbage behind. I was amazed at how many clothes and carpet shoes we picked up today. If we would all just pick up after ourselves it would help a lot. It’s not that hard to do. We need to all do our part to help keep this community clean.”
Another cleanup effort is scheduled for this month. The day, time and location will be announced soon.