Neighbor stories

Neighbors Head Online to Organize Community Clean-Up

Written by ndmulti
When neighbors outside of San Antonio noticed that several local ponds in the area had become dumping grounds for trash, it didn’t take long for them to take matters into their own hands – literally.

The main pond that needed cleaning was just off the entrance to the Ventura subdivision, and was one of three ponds that were badly in need of cleaning. One neighbor, Kim Earle, stepped up to see if the community could make a difference.

“We just want to make this a better place for the wildlife, better for our community,” Earle said. “This is an entrance to several communities, and we just want to take some initiative and get it cleaned up.”

The initial clean-up was more spur of the moment. Kim used Nextdoor to get the word out to neighbors the day they planned to head out with trash bags and gloves.

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A neighbor cleaning up one of the neighborhood’s ponds.

“We were digging stuff out of the mud. We’re going to have to come back with rakes to get at it,” she said. “We have one area, you can tell, that somebody has been driving up and just dumping. The rest of the area around the ponds is fishing lines, old lures, lots of beer cans, just people hanging out or fishing.”

The second clean-up was planned days in advance, again using Nextdoor. Neighbors put signs asking for volunteers. Others brought doughnuts and coffee. Someone even contacted Citizens On Patrol, and they arrived with a vehicle to help.

As for Kim, it’s a way to not only make a difference in the community, but also meet her neighbors. She and her husband only moved to San Antonio a few months ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but they’re already making a positive impact on their neighborhood.

“I get involved with animal shelters, wildlife rescues, and community projects and cleanups, wherever we go.” Kim said.

For now, the plan is to organize future clean-ups every weekend to restore the area to its former state. Neighbors have agreed that they’d like to see the area made into a park or a nature preserve.

“As long as I can keep getting more people, as long as we can figure out a place to put the trash – I’ll keep this going until we find out a solution for this,” Kim said.

Originally reported by the San Antonio Express-News.

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