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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