A record number of people ranging in age from 10 to 89 turned out to help beautify Tucumcari Saturday morning as the Chamber of Commerce and a number of other groups sponsored its annual Keep Tucumcari Beautiful campaign by picking up trash in the city.
The campaign was part of the nation-wide campaign The Great American Clean Up which had groups like the one in Tucumcari cleaning up communities nationwide.
Organizers of the campaign in Tucumcari were especially impressed with the numbers that turned out to help pick up trash along the west end of Tucumcari Blvd.
“We had over 50 people out this year,” said City of Tucumcari projects coordinator Yvette Fazekas who headed up the clean up campaign in Tucumcari in 2004. “That’s a record for us. A lot of different groups took part to help.”
Fazekas said, churches, social groups and services groups plus a number of individuals who just wanted to help clean up Tucumcari all took part in the clean up which began at 8:30 and ran throughout the day.
Fazekas said the cadre of volunteers began on the west end of Tucumcari Blvd. because it was agreed that when travelers come into the city from the west on Interstate 40 they often come into Tucumcari along that stretch of road.
And we want them to have the best impression they can have,” said Chamber of Commerce executive director Virginia Wright who was also picking up trash with the group of volunteers along Route 66. The group broke for lunch at noon and then rededicated themselves to picking up trash along First Street following the lunch break.
Tucumcari resident Marjorie McKenzie who was also on the clean up line said the clean up did a number of good things for the community but it all came down to a very basic concept. “It was the right thing to do,” said McKenzie. “I want things to look as nice as possible in the town.”
City Manager Richard Primrose agreed with McKenzie and added there was an educational element to the clean up. “I also believe if people had to go under these miskeetes and pull out trash, they’d think twice about throwing out a cup again.” Fazekas said over 120 bags of trash were collected along the road and that trash included old tires, pieces of metal, light bulbs, water bottles paper and cups among other items.