Families go extra mile to clean highways Volunteers help keep litter in check

July 05, 1992|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

TANEYTOWN -- Lisa Hersh and her 5-year-old son Layton clean a stretch of Route 140 outside of town so thoroughly you'd think they own it.

"It's good exercise, none of it takes up much time for us,

and we get to help the community," said Mrs. Humke.

The Humkes have since cut back to one mile, giving the other two north of Mayberry Road to the Hershes, who used to help them.

"We had never seen them before. [Mrs. Hersh] just stopped her car one day, asked us what we were doing, then came out with her two sons to help," Mr. Humke said.

Joan and Bill DaRoja read an article about the program and decided to get involved.

"We're walkers, and it's not hard," said Mrs. DaRoja, 59, whose stretch of Route 194 extends from the Pennsylvania line to a bridge near Stone Road and passes in front of their home. "You do get a little aggravated when you see stuff thrown all over the place."

"You find everything out there, sets of clothing and things," said Mr. Humke. "You'd be surprised what some people throw out of their windows."

The Hershes, who include Mrs. Hersh's husband, Larry, a toy manufacturer, and their 2-year-old son, Logan, agree. When cleaning both sides of their roads, sometimes they have trouble making that last mile.

"We were out there the other day because it needed a good cleaning. Sometimes you spend an hour on a quarter-mile," said Mrs. Hersh, who said her family goes out seven or eight times a year.

The state requires only a pledge of four trips.

Randy Houck, assistant resident maintenance engineer for the State Highway Administration, believes the participation of families and couples in the program is a sign that people really care about their surroundings.

"It's a lot of work, but I'm proud to see people willing to try to keep the roads clean," said Mr. Houck.

"We take pride in keeping our roads clean so people coming into the state can see a street cleared of litter," said Mrs. DaRoja.

Mr. Humke says its a personal responsibility as well.

"It's just like mowing your own lawn, or keeping your own property looking nice," he said.

"We just have to get back to the good old Earth," said Mrs. Hersh. "There are many ways to give back to her, and this is just one of them."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.