Sunday, August 21, 2011

We Need More Citizens Like This

Maureen Williams has been waging a campaign against roadside clutter for more than two decades.

Armed with a plastic bag and a keen eye, she has scooped up trash along roads and parking lots in Baden and more recently in the Spanish Lake area. Last week, she was rewarded for her volunteer efforts with a road sign with her name on it.

While watering the neatly manicured lawn at Cigno Dental Care, Williams made clear she didn't go looking for any fanfare.

"I don't expect anything," said Williams, 69. "Sometimes I think the mailman, and the fireman and the policeman deserve it more than me. Because they do it every day. ... The mail people never get awards."

On Friday, she received a "Way to Go Green" award from St. Louis County.

Sheryl Hodges, the county's director of highways, traffic and public works, said Williams' efforts have included pulling weeds and sprucing up "just to make our neighborhoods more beautiful."

On weekends, she keeps a watchful eye on businesses in the neighborhood. Her vigilance paid off when she noticed a broken window at a Bellefontaine Road business and reported it to the building's owner. She also makes sure gates are closed.

"I want to get involved where I live," she said.

Williams, who grew up in the city of St. Louis, credits her parents for first impressing the importance of respecting others. Helping others, she said, is satisfaction enough.

Nonetheless, Hodges said, the county will post an adopt-a-roadside sign along Bellefontaine Road. Usually reserved for groups that perform volunteer litter pickup, this one has just one name on it: Maureen Williams.

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:45 PM

    Maureen Williams is definitely a person to be respected, admired and emulated. But why should people like her or any of the rest of us be burdened by people who litter and fail to properly maintain their property. Why doesn’t the county crack down on these people in order to preserve neighborhoods rather than burdening the rest of us with occupancy inspections that we have to pay for to sell our homes, in order to “preserve” neighborhoods. The fact that people like Maureen Williams have to take on such onerous duties indicates one more failure on the part of the county.