The Annual Roadside Cleanup is in the bag, with 86 volunteers participating in “one of the biggest social events of the year” according to Paul Davis. Paul has been coordinating the Cleanup for 43 years. “It was going (rather inefficiently) when I arrived in 1975. I took over the next year and got a big map and organized the crews and routes.”
Put on by Lummi Island Community Association (LICA), Islanders from all corners sign up for one of 14 routes, with a pickup and driver for each route. There is coffee and Janice’s pastries. Crews are dispatched at 10:00 sharp by the diligent man in a WWII Navy Veteran hat. ‘Litter picker-uppers’ or a broom handle with a nail in the end is recommended, gloves are required. Neckties and party dresses prohibited.
Crews then return to the Grange Hall with their bounty. This year a quantity of styrofoam was recovered from the beach before the sea got at it. Trash bags were neatly tied in Adopt-A-Road program bags supplied by Whatcom County Public Works. Paul pondered the possibilities of a rusted bottomless wheelbarrow.
Grange folks and LICA provided a free lunch to the volunteers featuring Wendell's Wonderful Wieners. Then we drove home on clean roadsides, hoping that our visitors will notice.