‘Bag Ladies’ Keep It Clean
And during their hour long, nearly three mile morning hikes, they fill them with trash from their Elizabeth Lake Estates neighborhood in Hampton.
“You name it, we’ve picked it up,” said burberry outlet Jo Obeck, who as a 15 year walker is the bag ladies’ unofficial spokeswoman. “When we first started walking, we did not pick up trash. But unfortunately, trash has become a problem in the past five years.”
Elizabeth Lake Estates nestles between Fox Hill and Woodland roads, near Kecoughtan High School. It is by no means the only place where folks work to clean up their communities.
Hampton Woods, for one, has Jackie Cannan and Raquel Cepeda, who were recently pictured in the Daily Press with their debris pick up paraphernalia.
So what’s in it for these garbage groupies?
“It’s fun to be together,” said Olive Johnston, one of the Elizabeth Lake regulars. “It’s a support system.”
Families, books, current events, aches and pains, and the weather are topics up for grabs.
“You don’t need a psychiatrist,” said Obeck. on this October morning
so quiet you could hear a cigarette butt drop.
“Woo hoo,” calls Jane Gibson to Obeck, who materializes like an apparition. On her heels come Sue Han, followed by Carol Lanshe and Johnston, her sister. Ann Lamothe falls in beside them as they head up Elizabeth Lake Drive. Jill Dair and Andrea Berndt, the other two in the group, aren’t here today.
The wal burberry outlet kers’ ages range from 55 to 75. Most of them are retired, from occupations including teacher, nurse, thrift store volunteer, career military servicewoman and artist.
Last year, the Elizabeth Lake Estates Civic Association received a Hampton Neighborhood Improvement fund grant for things like signage and landscap burberry outlet ing. Part of the neighborhood’s matching contribution came from the walkers’ more than 750 volunteer hours.
“I hate to think what the community would look like if we didn’t pick up,” Obeck says. “People should treat their surroundings like their living room.”
Unfortunately, not everyone lives by that rule.
“First beer of the morning,” chortles Lamothe, grabbing and bagging it. Condoms, coins and candy wrappers are other discards they find. The women usually draw the line at dog poop.
Before they pack it in today, they’ll patrol the Woodland Road side of the subdivision. Twice a week, they do the same on the Fox Hill Road side.
“It’s like a disease,” said Johnston. “You notice it (trash) everywhere.”
She and her sister will ask their husbands to stop the car so they can hop out and pick up something.
The Willow Oaks Village Square center has several fast food places and restaurants, and Starbucks Coffee recently opened in the Farm Fresh. Whether the refuse from burgers and lattes is thrown from passing cars or dropped by people on foot, it’s a problem.
These remains of the day and night can wind up in storm drains and move on to pollute local waters, eventually making its way to the Chesa burberry outlet peake Bay. So this is serious work.