The Trans Pecos chapters of Texas Master Gardeners and Texas Master Naturalists successfully accomplished one of the largest trash control projects in the area.
As an effort to compliment the Celebration of Our Mountains activities the two chapters coordinated a multiple organization event to clean up the litter along the entire length of Trans Mountain Road from Highway 54 to Interstate 10, combining 9 miles on one side and 9 miles on the other side for a total of 18 miles of roadway. Highlighting the problems this litter causes for the natural environment was a goal for the event.
All groups affiliated with litter control for the area under the Adopt a Highway program were invited to participate. The list includes; Home Depot from the west side, Franklin Mountain Wilderness Coalition, and the Briseno Family in addition to the Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists. Students from Chapin and Franklin High Schools along with Keep El Paso Beautiful were also involved in the work. TxDOT provided the trucks and staff to transport the 265 bags of garbage collected. The clean-up lasted more than 3 hours with about 115 people participating.
The core committee consisted of Susan Petty, chairperson, Ed Dominguez and Jim Hastings.
Congratulations to the Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists.
The project was the district’s nominee for outstanding efforts for volunteer groups across the state of Texas.
It was awarded First Place as the 2009 Adopt-a-Highway Volunteer Group award.
A unique aspect of the project was the separation of the refuse into recyclable and non-recyclable groups. We understand this is unique among adopt a highway programs, and is hoped to stand as an example for the future for all Adopt A Highway participants. Katherine Palofox from Keep El Paso Beautiful arranged for the collection of the additional 60 bags of recyclable material gathered.
Starbucks sent a group out to help from the Northeast store with coffee for everyone! Very much appreciated.