River trash cleanup hailed a success

A group of volunteers look for trash in the tree line along the Trinity River at Moss Hill on Saturday.

Volunteers on Saturday picked up four tons of trash from the banks of the Trinity River at SH 105 bridge at Moss Hill.

The area is popular with campers and fishermen, some of whom leave their trash behind after their outings. Before the clean up, food wrappers, cups, cans, cardboard boxes and other garbage was scattered in the brush and along the banks. After the four-hour cleanup, most of the trash was on its way to landfills, along with canopies, tires and two ceramic toilets that were found in the cleanup.

“We wanted to unite the community in a good cause,” said Shayla Harwell, explaining why the event was organized. “We also wanted to clean up the area for the wildlife who live along the river.”

Retired Texas Game Warden Danny Diaz is no stranger to the Trinity River. He was a game warden for Liberty County for more than 25 years. Pictured with him left to right are his wife, Darla, Kenleigh Fregia, Jayleene Castillo, Lisa Hart Fregia and Raegan Fregia.
Liberty Elementary School students attended the river cleanup on Saturday in Moss Hill.

Harwell and Stephanie Johnson, both representatives of ESD 7 (Hardin Fire Department), organized the event. They say another benefit of the cleanup was that it provided an opportunity for students to perform service hours, which are required for National Honor Society, student councils and other extracurricular groups.

Hardin High School’s National Honor Society and Liberty ISD’s Leo Group and Elementary Student Council participated. Retired Game Warden Danny Diaz and his wife, Darla, brought their grandchildren to the cleanup.

“It was an outdoor event, so we were able to follow COVID-19 guidelines,” Johnson said. The groups who attended the event together picked up trash together.

Liberty Fire Department, ESD 7 and Liberty County Hazmat firefighters also were in attendance and helped with the heavy lifting of picking up full bags of trash and loading them into trailers, and pulled out a stranded vehicle for a group of fishermen.

“We would like to thank everyone for their time. Whether you stayed five minutes or five hours, we appreciate it,” Bush said.

After the cleanup, volunteers were treated to sack lunches provided by Hardin Coffee Shop.

Organizers plan to run a letter to the editor on Bluebonnet News later this week to thank the numerous sponsors.


  1. Good job. It’s sad how people trash the sandbars. The river rises and cleans off the sandbars, then within a month after the river goes down people trash it again. The HWY 90 sandbar is always a dumpster for people’s trash. This is true for any sandbar along the river that people have access to unfortunately.

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