The organization Keep Our Mountains Beautiful (KOMB) has been organizing biannual roadside litter abatement events for a number of years. The next scheduled cleanup is Saturday, Oct. 12. There are many volunteers who are repeat attendees and who've been responsible for the removal of hundreds of bags of trash. To all those volunteers, we say thank you.
There are countless others who have good intentions. They share our dismay at the unsightly trash that mars our beautiful mountain area. They wanted to come help, but the dates did not match their schedules, or they couldn't find someone to go with them, or they forgot on the day of the event. Even still, they get annoyed every time they drive by certain areas and see litter. Maybe it's on their own road, or a stretch they travel daily.
Our KOMB group adopted a stretch of Highway 41 (managed by CalTrans), and we clean it up about 6 times per year. Most of us also pick up trash in our neighborhoods or in other locations when we can. If you share our vision of a litter-free environment, we would love to have you join us by adopting a small stretch of road in your neighborhood. In my daily drives, I've noticed that there appear to be many doing this already. Some areas that were really trashy are now routinely cleaned. To those good citizens, we applaud you.
There are other sections that are notably trashy. From Thornberry Road to Bass Lake Heights, there is a build up of litter. From the apple farm on Crane Valley Road (426) to Oakhurst, there are pockets of litter. Along Road 222 from the Mountain House to Bass Lake, there is enough trash to fill a dumpster. On Road 200, south of Bass Fork, the litter is unsightly.
Road 415 in Coarsegold appears to attract litter like a magnet. If all concerned people would adopt a small section of road, and work with a friend or two to pick up litter perhaps every other month,or every other week, we could keep our roadways beautiful.
One strategy is to have a friend drive while one or two others hop out with their trash bags when they see a patch of unsightly litter. It goes fast. You may not get every gum wrapper or cigarette butt, but you will make an impact on the visual appearance of your newly adopted road.
If you read this article and wish to sign up for a section of road, please contact KOMB as we can help coordinate these efforts. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and describe what area you would like to adopt and approximately how often you will pick up the litter. If we all pitch in, our mountains will retain their beauty and cleanliness.
And, if you would like to join our group you're welcome to attend our next meeting, Oct. 23, at 6:30 p.m. at the Oakhurst library annex.