Sedona AZ (January 22, 2013) - Folksvillian USA Colonel Clint E. Wood and Gary Chamberlain, Folksville USA Point Man, filled 36 bright orange bags with trash lifted from the median of Arizona State Highway 89A between Cottonwood and Sedona on January 12, 13 and 14, 2013.
“The Colonel and I would like to thank all of you that expressed appreciation for our efforts,” said Chamberlain. “As we work to restore the beauty to the highways of the Verde Valley and Arizona, the Colonel and I are united in our march toward the red rocks of Sedona lifting SR 89A median trash.”
Shaking his head, Chamberlain pointed to the full orange trash bag he carried, neatly tied. He placed it on the highway shoulder, strategically, awaiting its removal by ADOT yet viewable to passersby.
“The Colonel and I collected, on three very cold winter days I might add, other people’s trash that was dumped along a six mile long area. Six miles of disgusting, ugly trash and debris! Ask yourself when you see a filled-to-the-brim orange or blue trash bag on SR 89A just what impact that litter has had on tourists, the business developer scouting locations for new start-ups or industry expansions, or buyers and sellers of local homes and property?”
It was Chamberlain’s concern for a neighborhood litter problem that grew into civic activism, an activism that became a mission after traveling cross-country in 2011 on a bicycling trip and seeing litter everywhere he rode. He joined with eight Cornville neighbors and Sedonan Rick Baldauf to clean up local litter, all the while demanding that the Arizona Department of Transportation do its taxpayer mandated litter abatement job. Eventually the original Road Warriors morphed into FolksvilleUSA.com, a virtual town where “anyone can park at the curb and help solve litter issues” and ADOT is, in Chamberlain’s words, “beginning to respond to its need for taxpayer accountability.”
Chamberlain explained, ”We must as a society expect land stewardship by each resident, every visitor, all businesses and public and private corporations and enterprises. It does not have to be a top-down government mandate, it must be every individual’s expectation and effort furthered by civic pride and respect for our fragile Arizona desert ecosystem, our vulnerable wildlife, our public safety and health, and, yes, our wallets. It’s time to speak up and care about litter.”
Why do so many people disrespect our environment? What can be done to further the greening of Arizona highways, desert and mountains and all of America?
After helping Colonel Wood into his car and stowing the litter clean up gear, Chamberlain answered, “Personally, I believe a major component to the litter debacle is a lack of education and accountability and that must be addressed. If you want to help, join the Folksville USA Litter Clean Up Event scheduled for February. Email GaryChamberlain@FolksvilleUSA.com. Your effort does matter and you will be of help. Stop complaining and care enough to do something.”