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1st Annual Lovin' Livingston Trail Cleanup Day
On August 21st, members from the Ohio River Four Wheelers, in cooperation with local OHV enthusiasts, Waste Management Inc. of Laurel County, the Laurel County Division of Solid Waste, Toyota of Nicholasville, Bell's Suzuki of Lexington, and BAR Offroad of Cincinnati sponsored the First Annual "Lovin' Livingston" Trail Cleanup Day. Thirteen volunteers from the Ohio River Four Wheelers and eight local volunteers met up at Livingston, Kentucky, and began the stages of what would be the best effort of trail cleanup in that area for some time.
BAR Offroad, an off-highway vehicle store, donated a sign that was posted at the entrance to the Livingston area. The sign reads, "KEEP LIVINGSTON CLEAN. DON'T LITTER", and was erected by ORFW President, Mr. Jerry Blair. Mr. Blair stated, "If more clubs could organize and carry out cleanups that are as successful as this one, I believe that our legislative bodies would have no choice but to see the good we do for our lands and join our fight in keeping our trails open.
The day started with a short meeting about what we wanted to accomplish. Danny Gibson and Jeff Steely of Waste Management Incorporated donated two 30-yard dumpsters, and we wanted to do our best to fill them in one day. We had decided to split up, and maintain CB contact with each group. One group was to go out ahead, while another group was to stay around the entrance and begin cleaning up.
A third group was dubbed "The Hill Hoppers". The Hill Hoppers got their name because they were in charge of going to the bottom of a very steep ravine. They were also challenged with chaining up many sets of tractor trailer tires (that had been illegally dumped) to be pulled to the top of the hill. Tim Rettig was present with his 92 YJ, and he would use it to pull the tires to the top of the hill, about a 300-foot ascent, that was around a 45-degree angle. Once the tires were to the top of the hill, volunteers would load them into the back of a dump truck that was being used to haul them out.
The Laurel County Division of Solid Waste (Mike Waldroff, Mgr.) donated the dump trucks. There was a local tire amnesty program in the area, and tires were being disposed of free of charge, which really worked to the cleanup benefit.
The other two groups were hard at work, filling trash bags and transporting them to the staging area, where the two full-size dumpsters awaited them. Bag after bag was tossed into the dumpsters in an attempt to fill the two of them. Members worked diligently to ensure that trash was picked up.
Several members were flagging down other users of the Livingston area and explaining to them the reasons for our effort and how they could help. Volunteers would give the users of the area trash bags and ask them to do their part by filling up at least two bags of trash and setting them by the roadside for us to pickup. Thanks to Toyota of Nicholasville (Jim Collins, Service Manager) for the donation of the trash bags.
Later in the day, an old car was discovered in a very visible area. After a brief discussion, it was decided that the old car was coming out, and it was going into the dumpsters. Dave Martin hooked up his diesel powered Dodge Ram pickup to the heap of metal, and began tugging at it. It wasn't long before Dave had the car heading towards the dumpster.
Dave tugged on the car until he got it to a place where Tim Rettig attached his Jeep YJ to the heap, and began dragging it out of the area. Halfway to the dumpster, the car broke into two pieces, requiring a second vehicle to come in and drag out the back half of the car.
Dave Stahl, Land Use Officer for the Ohio River Four Wheelers, quickly attached his Jeep Cherokee to the rusty pile of bolts and steel and drug it out to the dumpster.
Once both halves of the vehicle arrived at the dumping area, volunteers were faced with the issue of getting the vehicle into the dumpster. It was quickly decided that we would use a vehicle-mounted winch to get the vehicle into the dumpster and a snatch block was used to hoist the bucket of bolts, as can be seen in the photo.
While all of this activity was going on, other members of the volunteer team were still in the woods picking up trash. In the picture above, you can see the depth and length of the dumpsters. To think that one group of individuals filled two dumpsters this size in one 9-hour day is extraordinary. It is also a sad reminder to the level of litter in the Livingston area.
A special thanks has to go out to Lee Crafton, Jr. Lee is a local Livingston enthusiast, and coordinated everything from where the dumpsters were to be placed to where the drinks for the volunteers were going to be. Lee worked VERY hard with the local waste collection agencies and sponsors to get the volunteers the tools they would need to do their part. Without Mr. Crafton, there would have been no way the trash pickup would have gone off.
The Ohio River Four Wheelers would like to challenge other clubs around the country to duplicate this feat. If all of the organized clubs in the nation would organize an effort such as this, a huge impact would be made on all of the land organizations throughout the country. With results like this, it would be hard for anyone not to take notice.
The following people are to be commended for their efforts:
Ohio River Four Wheelers Members volunteering for cleanup:
Without the help of the above-mentioned people, nothing would have been accomplished. This event was a great example of what can be accomplished when people work together as a team. Thank you all so much!
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