by Ray Fisher
HUERFANO — Twelve volunteers from Middle Creek, CR 358 and LiveWell Huerfano County, got together on Saturday, June 9 to clean up CR 340 and CR 358. Supplies and signs were donated through Bill Brunelli of the Walsenburg County Shop. Sid’s Barbecue in La Veta offered all the volunteers a discount on lunch for their community service.
The group divided into three teams, each with a pickup. One team of five included La Veta school nurse and county coroner – Vonnie Maier Valdez, Mike Hurley- formerly of Mike’s Coffee Shop in Walsenburg, Cindy Campbell of LiveWell Huerfano County and Ray Fisher of S Middle Creek, with pickup driven by Gary Valdez of Middle Creek. They started from La Veta on CR 358 and picked up litter for three miles, including bottles and cans on both side of fences. Another team of four included Grant Euler of Golden, visiting son-in-law of Mike Hurley, Cassandra Bacon of Huajatolla Valley and Carrie Andreatta of CR 340, with a pickup driven by Ken Bacon, started from the Walsenburg end of CR 358 and cleaned three miles of litter.
But the third team of three, which included Dr Steve Boynton of La Veta and Susan Botelho of LiveWell Huerfano County, with a pickup and trailer driven by Bill Peterson of CR 358, were overwhelmed after one mile of the eight mile stretch of CR 340 by the volume of trash they encountered. They found piles of tires, furniture, whole bags of household stuff, and more numerous bottles and cans than usual. They were shocked. This was not the kind of work that volunteers should be doing. They did their best.
All the trash and litter from the three teams were brought with no fee to the Walsenburg Transfer Station. The fee waiver was arranged by Jerry Sporcich of the La Veta County Shop. Jerry’s cousin Rich Martinez, at the Transfer Station, was a big help in directing and facilitating disposals. Ray Fisher stayed to sort the recyclable trash into clear and colored glass, aluminum and trash.
The take-away… a personal note
This experience got us thinking…SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE ABOUT DUMPING. The county commissioners need to come up with a program to stop this unsightly and unsanitary habit. Owners along CR 340 are furious about the constant dumping on their roadside property.
We recommend the commissioners consider canceling all fees at the transfer station, encouraging residents to dispose of their trash properly. County workers need time and wages to clean up any existing or potential dump sites. Signage and enforcing fines would help to promote proper disposal (often names and addresses can be found in dumped household trash). Persons with fines under county court could be engaged and supervised picking up litter and trash to reduce their sentences and provide community service. Marilyn Russell of La Veta Trails points out having a deposit on bottles and cans so they can be returned would help immensely. Something must be done! If you have suggestions or would like to help with future clean ups please contact Ray Fisher, Middle Creek, 303-449-6483.