Ten volunteers from the Viburnum area removed 4.03 tons of trash and recycled 140 pounds of scrap metal and nine tires from the Mark Twain National Forest on Highway Y north of Viburnum in Crawford County.

The Meramec Regional Planning Commission provided safety vests, gloves, hard hats, trash bags and paid for the dumpster, using grant funds from Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District. 

Samantha Alcorn, who lives in Viburnum, contacted the Meramec Regional Planning Commission and coordinated the volunteers for the cleanup.

“I decided to organize this cleanup because I wanted to show not only my son, but others, that one person can make a difference, and I chose this location because it’s our town,” Alcorn said in an email. “This is our land, and as a community, if we want to keep enjoying it, we need to be responsible for it. Missouri is too beautiful to let anyone use it like a dumpster.”

The Crawford County cleanup is the second cleanup coordinated by the Meramec Regional Planning Commission in 2020. The other cleanup was in Washington county and resulted in over 10 tons of waste and recyclable material removed from public property.  

For those interested in participating or organizing a cleanup, contact Kathryn Hawes, Meramec Regional Planning Commission environmental specialist, at 573-265-2993 or via email at khawes@meramecregion.org. 

The Ozark Rivers District includes Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities with populations of 500 or more.