By Andrew Bell
TEXARKANA, Ark. – A community-wide clean-up will take place at Bobby Ferguson Park on Saturday, October 23 from 9 a.m. to noon.
This is an annual event hosted by the Texarkana Arkansas City Beautiful Commission and the City of Texarkana, Arkansas.
In addition to cleaning, there will be an electronic recycling location at Spring Lake Park from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. where items such as laptops, televisions, fax machines and more will be accepted. Items such as furniture, microwaves, appliances or refrigerants will not be accepted.
“We’ve tried to have two cleanings a year since I’ve been on the commission – one in the spring and one in the fall,” said City Beautiful president Jeff Brown. “We are reaching out to schools, churches and civic people in the community. It’s just about going out and finding areas where the garbage needs to be picked up.”
Richardson Waste is partnering with the city to provide four dumpsters at four different locations for dumping waste:
Bobby Ferguson Park
3400 U of A Way, located next to the Four States Exhibition Center.
Parc des Ronces
1002 Ferguson, corner of Ferguson and Fulton streets.
Iron Mountain Neighborhood Center
1101 Couch Street, on Couch Street between East 10th and East 12th Street.
Sandflat neighborhood center
209 East 14th, corner of Ash and East 14th streets.
Brown said there will eventually be a list of items not to bring to City Beautiful’s Facebook page.
There will also be a hot dog barbecue and special door prizes for volunteers handed out after the clean-up at the town’s recreation center, next to the animal adoption shelter.
“Keep Arkansas Beautiful also partners with us in promoting the fight against waste,” said Brown. “They will send us supplies and things to hand out – garbage bags, gloves, safety vests and even T-shirts to hand out. “
Litter is a problem Texarkana is trying to solve. The Texarkana regional chamber of commerce and the two cities are involved in an anti-waste effort. They recruited diverse community members from a variety of different fields to help get the message across and spark action.
Brown said initiatives like this help raise awareness and, most importantly, launch a call to action.
“Anyone with two eyes can see how ugly it is when people are throwing out garbage,” Brown said.
“And I think the sad thing is that some people don’t care. And part of our mission is to try to get people to care.”
Brown said it needs to start in schools.
“I’m not saying people can’t change, but it’s not that easy to change adult behavior,” he said. “So if we can start with the kids and work towards that, I think we have a lot more chance of making our city cleaner and better maintained.”
If you want to help, the promoters say, just introduce yourself.