For the eighth consecutive year, the Community Pride Week cleanup campaign brought dozens of people together for a common cause: to seek and eliminate trash.
The annual event, sponsored by the Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce, "went wonderfully well," in the words of one of the organizers.
Brad Roberts, co-chair of the cleanup, said he was proud of the community response.
"What a great community we have, to be able to get together like this," he said. "We got rid of a lot -- maybe not a record, but close to it."
Several large container loads were hauled off to the Rabanco landfill in Roosevelt -- at no charge -- and roughly 300 used tires were collected.
Roberts estimated there were at least 50 volunteers, and perhaps as many as 75, helping over the weekend. Included were the local Rotary Club, AmeriCorps, and community members. In addition, several businesses made donations to the cause as well.
"One thing that would be neat is if we could get more junior high and high school kids to participate," Roberts added. "We see a lot of waste here, and this would be a good way for kids to be aware of it. It's a consciousness thing. We can talk and talk, but when you see the trash, it might help to make people want to change the situation."
According to Roberts, this year the cleanup campaign was successful in recovering more materials for reuse.
One new component of the event this year was the involvement of David Skakel of Mosier. Skakel owns the Gorge Rebuilding Center, which collects building materials for resale.
Skakel said enough materials in relatively good condition were brought in over the weekend to nearly fill a 10 x 30 container.
"There were a lot of sinks, tubs, lumber, lighting fixtures, and cabinetry, most of it in good condition," Skakel explained. "It was a great thing. We filled two truckloads -- not pickup trucks, but a large panel van that Re-Max Realtors lent us -- of material that would have gone into the landfill."
Skakel added that he expected the volume would increase over time as more people become aware of the benefits of reusing building materials.
"Our motto is, `Waste Equals Cost,'" Skakel said. "This event is an example of us trying to fulfill our mission, which is to promote the link between business, ecology, and community in the Gorge."
Skakel added that he would be happy to work on the cleanup week campaign again next year.
"If I'm invited, I'll be there," he said.
"I think the community is getting picked up," said Debra Reed, manager of the Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce. "People have been bringing stuff in for seven previous years, so the volume may be getting a bit lighter."
Reed singled out two longtime residents of the community for their special efforts over the weekend.
"Wayne Carlock and Bill Manly are my volunteer pickup team extraordinaire," Reed said. "They worked their little tails off. They probably brought at least eight loads, maybe nine, on Saturday, helping those who are physically or vehicularly challenged."
Roberts added that the weather was very cooperative this year.
"With that little rain we had, it was one of the most dustless events we've had, and it didn't get muddy," he said.