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.”
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.