HAMLER — A southern Henry County family this week cleaned up a portion of roadway in its rural neighborhood and is issuing a light-hearted challenge to others to do the same.
“I saw a post online from Bernie George who lives in Deshler about trash around the reservoir, and then my daughter Brynn, who is in second grade, said, ‘Well actually we cleaned up trash out by the baseball field today,’” said Ty Meyer of Hamler.
So he asked her and another daughter, Mila, 5, if they wanted to go on a bike ride Tuesday night and they both said yes, and also offered to take a trash bag and clean up trash along the way.
“I thought, ‘That’s a neat idea,’” he said.
Meyer said they biked down County Road 7 and picked up some trash. He then posted photos of his daughters collecting the refuse and on Twitter included the hashtags #trashtagchallenge and #keephenrycountyclean.
“I know there are certain highways that get sponsored (for trash pickup) but the county roads kind of get forgotten about, people throw trash out everywhere,” Meyer said. “It was kind of cool it was their idea, and we’re going to keep it going, doing a half mile or quarter mile every week or couple of days.”
He also said he hopes posting it will provide some positivity to social media, which it could use more of these days.
“Sometimes people (post things) for recognition, but sometimes people do it for good, just to challenge other people to do something,” Meyer said. “Sometimes people get flack for posting the good stuff they do, but if you don’t then no one knows anybody’s doing anything and it doesn’t peer pressure you into maybe doing some cleanup yourself.”
The refuse collection was especially rewarding for Brynn, who found a good-sized deer antler.
“We were just walking around, and I said look there Brynn, and there was a deer antler laying there,” Meyer said. “She was super excited, and took it to school today for show and tell. She’s a big outdoor person so for her to find that was pretty cool.”
He added he likely will borrow an idea from a college friend of his originally from Deshler but who lives in Denver now, Gabe Betts. Meyer said his friend doesn’t own a car and bicycles to work everyday, and typically picks up trash on his travels as well and posts funny anecdotes about them on Instagram.
“Now we’re going to continue it throughout the summer now that the weather’s getting nice,” Meyer said.
He also hopes the campaign will have another effect.
“Hopefully people will stop throwing trash out on the roads,” Meyer said.