Garden City residents take to the streets in clean-up effort

GARDEN CITY — There's an unwelcome newcomer to this Glasscock County community, and many residents are doing their best to get rid of the visitor.One attraction Garden City residents have always taken pride in is the community's appearance. In recent years, however, people have noticed an appreciable uptick in the amount of trash accumulating in the area.“We'd never had this problem before,” said County Judge Kim Halfmann. “So, we set out to do something about it.”\Saturday, groups of young and old Garden City residents were scouring roadways and vacant lots for trash in an event organizers called Have Pride in Our Community Day.This community-wide cleanup effort, the first in recent memory, was jump-started by the town's Youth Board.“It's a group of teachers, other adults and a select few youth,” Halfmann said. “They were asked what they thought was the number-one problem facing the community, and they said the main problem was trash.”After a few weeks ironing out the details, the group sprang into action Saturday. Young children concentrated on clearing trash from vacant lots, while groups of teenagers and adults picked up trash along roadways. Businesses and government agencies pitched in — Fuddrucker's provided lunch for the volunteers, while the Texas Department of Transportation provided safety vests and trash bags and agreed to cart off the collected garbage.Aside from the free lunch, volunteers also received T-shirts as a token of thanks for their efforts.Halfmann said it is unknown if similar events will be held in the future, but stressed that Saturday's effort was important for Garden City's self-esteem.“We're just trying to show everybody that we take pride in our community,” she said.