WFO Austin/San Antonio staffers (L to R) Pat Mcdonald, Orlando Bermudez, Denise Villescaz, Joe Villescaz, Steve Smart and Jon Zeitler (Photo: Teresa Smart)
(April 18, 2012) - Many people might not think picking up trash is a fun way to spend a Saturday. However, staff members and volunteers from the National Weather Service Austin/San Antonio forecast office participated in the 25th annual Texas Department of Transportation's Adopt-a-Highway, Don't Mess with Texas Trash-Off, held Saturday April 14, 2012.
"Litter pick-up is not the most glamorous or exciting community project," said Steve Smart, observing program leader at the Austin/San Antonio Weather Forecast Office, "but the folks at the weather office are by nature service-oriented and this is just a small way for us to contribute to our city and community."
Several bags of trash and discarded items were removed from a two mile stretch of adopted road along FM758 near Airport Road in New Braunfels, Texas, where the weather forecast office is located. The event is held each year and is part of a state-wide litter prevention program and a major activity to help keep Texas beautiful. Last year's Trash-Off day resulted in more than 60,000 Texas volunteers collecting 2.4 million pounds of trash.
The highly popular and successful state Adopt-a-Highway program has sparked a global interest with similar programs started in 49 states and a number of countries around the world. The program originally started in Tyler, Texas.
"We believe the end result is not just a cleaner stretch of road, but a part of a larger effort to keep Texas beautiful," Smart added.