Watson community trash bash

Pictured are Live Oak High School students Savannah Buckhalter (left) and Alayna Martin picking up trash along the medium on Hwy. 16 in Watson Saturday morning.

A Community Cleanup Day will be held throughout portions of Denham Springs and Watson on Saturday, March 6.

Scheduled to start at 8 a.m., organizers are calling for volunteers to help spruce up ditches and along the roadways in Districts 2 and 3, which one of the organizers described as “filled with litter.”

Volunteers are asked to bring their own gloves, rakes or trash pickers, and to wear bright colors. Trash bags and dumpsters will be provided by the program’s two sponsors, Waste Pro and Dugas Trading Post.

Drop-off sites will be at North Park in Denham Springs and Old Downhome Grill in Watson. Volunteers will meet at the two sites at the start before dispersing into the city for cleanup, though people are encouraged to volunteer even if they can't make the morning morning. 

Bobbi Jo Guerin, one of the organizers for the event, implored people to come out Saturday and help clean the city, which has seen a rise in litter as the population grows. 

“If people would just get out on these rural roads and pick up just 100 yards, it would make a difference,” she said.

A cleanup day is nothing new in Watson. According to Guerin, a group from Live Oak Methodist Church and other volunteers hosted annual “trash bashes” in the area for decades.

Guerin said she got involved and eventually took charge of the project, which in recent years has been done twice annually with adult and children volunteers alike.

That is, until COVID-19 hit.

“COVID has pretty much put a limit on our trash bashes,” Guerin said.

With few chances to clean over the last 12 months, the litter has piled up, Guerin said, particularly on the more rural roads.

“We just have to stop littering,” she said. “It’s really that simple.”

Guerin said the idea for the community cleanup day was sparked when she was talking with Lori Christiansen, of Waste Pro, who said she “wanted to get involved with the community.” Christiansen was eventually able to secure multiple rolloff dumpsters from Waste Pro for the project, something Guerin said fixes a constant hassle during the regular trash bashes.

“Getting a dumpster is always the problem,” Guerin said. “We usually sometimes have 10 or 15 adults that donate their time to go around Watson and pick up garbage, but we never have anywhere to put it, so everyone has to bring it home. That’s why it’s so important to have Waste Pro on board. Now people have somewhere to bring it.”

Guerin said local high school football teams and clubs have agreed to volunteer for the outing, but she and other organizers are hoping many more volunteers of all ages will come out this weekend. Along with the dumpsters from Waste Pro, Dugas Trading Post is donating trash bags.

“We’re just trying to get people to get out and clean up their roads,” Guerin said. “And now, they’ve got a place to put it and everything they’d need. We’ll have trucks and trailers to pick up trash and bring back to the dumpsters. We just need people to help.”

Drop-off points for the Community Cleanup Day will be at the following locations:

-- Watson: Old Downhome Grill, 34775 LA Hwy. 16

-- Denham Springs: North Park, 30372 Eden Church Road (Lockhart Road entrance)

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