EVERYDAY HEROES: Local family picks up trash from roadsides

Apr. 3—Members of a Cherokee County family recently rolled up their sleeves and cleaned up some roadsides in Tahlequah.

Agata Skorupska-Smith said she and several family members started picking up litter on Willis Road, and eventually moved to Park Hill Road by the Cherokee Springs Golf Club.

"We kind of just got tired of seeing so much trash on the side of the road, and we had an idea that since we are in the country, nobody is really going to help with that," Skorupska-Smith said.

Once the weather was nice enough to start the activity, Skorupska-Smith said, her family donned reflective vests, gloves, and trash picker tools. Those involved with the cleanup included her; her father-in-law, Ronald Kindle; mother-in-law Terri Kindle; Isaiah Kindle, and her sons, Rence Smith, 9, and Rainn Smith, 5.

"We were just trying to do something here for the community," Skorupska-Smith said.

The family filled 30 bags with trash over a two-day span from the sites. Skorupska-Smith said Ronald Kindle initially had the idea for the road cleanup, which is something the Kindles have done multiple times.

"I just thought that if everybody saw [the work], they would be more apt to not throw trash out," Ronald Kindle said.

Skorupska-Smith said she hopes her sons, Rence and Rainn, learned several things from the outing, such as the importance of being active in the community and to remember to help out, even when they get nothing in return.

"I hope the people are noticing it and paying attention to it, and [it] may make somebody think, 'Hey, I'm not going to throw out this cup. I'm going to take it to the trash instead,'" Skorupska-Smith said.

The family is keeping an eye on the roads and the potential trash buildup, and Skorupska-Smith said the family plans to pick up more trash in the future to continue the mission.

"Hopefully, people will just put the trash where it's supposed to go, but if that's [not] the case, we'll be happy to do it again," Skorupska-Smith said.