Pauls Valley Democrat
Though April has become a time of pride in clean communities across the state each year, there is perhaps no community more than Pauls Valley that is always trying to take the concept of Keep Oklahoma Beautiful that next step farther.
Whether it is an army of volunteers led by residents like Lou Hall, organizing regular cleanup opportunities from downtown to streets beyond or creative events where one can literally turn it into fashion, there isn’t much time where one can’t be involved on a daily basis.
It’s also motivation enough for those like Main Street PV Director Samantha Robb, who not only sees the value in said participation, but hopes to make this year a continued improvement through promotion of all the potential effort.
“We’re really just tickled to see all these things coming together,” said Robb. “I think everybody inspires one-another.”
Kicking cleanup off every year is the city’s own government, which allows people who live here to utilize every Saturday in April from 9 a.m. to noon by bringing in bulky non-polycart garbage for free to the transfer station north of town.
All they have to do to drop off items along the lines of couches or electronics is bring their water bill, with the only exceptions including chemicals, paints or things like tires.
Though everyone is encouraged to pick up refuse at every opportunity, one day set aside where people are invited to get out and literally clean up Pauls Valley one piece of litter at a time is the statewide Trash Off Day on Saturday, April 20, said Robb.
The local contact for that is Hall, who is organizing efforts and everything from how many trash bags are used to the amount of trash collected will be reported to the Keep Oklahoma Beautiful main office. It is seen as another way to show pride in what collectively was done for the environment.
“I attribute it to Lou Hall, teaching me to care,” said Robb, who hopes it encourages habits that continue for the rest of people lives much like Hall has encouraged people like her through years of example.
“This is the opportunity to take what we learn in April and make life lessons out of it.”
This then leads to the one day so cherished that school even lets the kids for the day to participate, the Trash Off Parade, set to return place Friday, April 26 at 1 p.m. at the Santa Fe Depot. There is no cost to participate and anyone is welcomed to march in clothes adorned with recycled items, make noise makers like a plastic bottle filled with rocks or even drive a vehicle pulling a float in recognition of the cause.
Capping it off in style is an event that has already earned an award from OG&E for innovation through the Great American Cleanup and a finalist for Main Street at the state level in May, the Trash in Fashion Show.
Run by the PV Arts Council later that day from 7 p.m. onward, outfits made up of no less than 80 percent reused materials are due April 24 and will be $15 for the first and $5 for each additional to participate.
“We were the first recipients of that award; they created it for us,” said Robb, noting both the council and Main Street benefit from any money raised since it goes toward renovating the building they share at the corner of Walnut and Paul streets.
“They were very impressed with the thinking outside the box and now we are up for a best creative new event for the Oklahoma Main Street Awards.”
For more information contact Hall at 405-238-2432. Robb can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
City Hall and Main Street will be giving away free trash bags for those interested in cleanup every day during business hours. Forms for the fashion show can be found online at www.mainstreetpaulsvalley.com
Call Mike Dyson at 405-926-7126 for more info about the fashion show.