Students take spring cleaning to new level

Published 2:14 am Saturday, March 30, 2019

Seven Straughn Middle School students took time out of their Spring Break to do a good deed.

T.J. Watson, Kira Barron, Airiana Mayo, Daniel Worley and Michael, Alexis and Tyler Owens picked up trash on County Road 70 between Henderson Cemetery and Shoemaker Road.

“Terri Watson was who came up with the idea,” Ashton Owens, the mother of four of the children, said. “We saw that she wanted to start cleaning up around Shoemaker, so we started cleaning up from our driveway and worked back towards Harmony Church. We didn’t get maybe 100 yards and we already had two huge garbage bags full of garbage.”

The Owenses began cleaning up garbage around 9:30 a.m., Terri Watson messaged her later on that day asking her if they wanted to help clean up with their group.

“She asked if we wanted to join her group,” Owens said. “That is when we started cleaning up County Road 70 between Henderson Cemetery and Shoemaker Road.”

Owens said that she brought 18 big garbage bags and she was left with only three.

“I don’t even know how many bags we ended up filling,” Owens said. “We only had three left, so at least 15 bags plus the ones Terri filled. Driving by the road, it looked like a lot of trash was there, but I had no idea we would fill up so many bags.”

She said that the things that people had thrown out on the street were very surprising.

“It was pretty disturbing,” Owens said. “Mostly because I live so close to there and people are just throwing this stuff out of the window and onto the street.”

Though this was the kids’ spring break, Owens said that they enjoyed helping out.

“We didn’t make them clean up,” Owens said. “They were happy to help and they actually had fun.”

Owens said that this opportunity opened the students’ eyes to how people so easily disrespect property.

“I teach them that you just don’t throw trash out of the window,” Owens said. “I just don’t believe in it, because animals can get ahold of it. We always throw trash away in the hobo when we get home. Now they have seen how much people actually litter and they were pretty shocked. It definitely opened their eyes.”

She said that they are looking forward to cleaning again.

“We still have quite a bit to pick up,” Owens said. “We did about a quarter mile. It was a long stretch for us walking, but it really isn’t that much.”

The Covington County Sheriff’s Department kept traffic under control and Covington County Commission engineer Lynn Ralls provided signs to slow traffic down while they were picking up the trash.