May 13, 2014

Area residents asked to join effort to “Pick Up The Patch”

By Kate Ruggles
Farmer Staff Writer

This Saturday, the Watford City Area Chamber of Commerce is asking anyone who calls McKenzie County the place where they live or work, to join in the effort to keep it looking nice by taking part in the third annual Pick Up The Patch clean-up event.
“This is such a good way to show that you care about the community that is providing a life for you and your family,” states Karen Holte of McKenzie County Social Services and is the head of the Pick Up The Patch clean-up event.
Holte states that each year that this event has taken place, it gets bigger, both in the number that participate and the amount of trash that is picked up.
“It used to be that we would only clean our ditches about every three years,” states Holte. “And even then we would only pick up about a bag worth of trash. Now when we clean up our ditches and roadways, we pick up more trash than we can keep track of, and a week later it is back.”
Pick Up The Patch is important, according to Holte, not just because it is a clean-up effort, but because it is an effort between members of the community and members of the oil industry.
This year the Pick Up The Patch committee is hoping to extend even further out than they have in the past. But to do this, Holte states they need participants.
“Mainly what we need is man power,” states Holte. “Our plan is to start in Watford City and extend out as far as we can and pick up as much trash as we can.”
The amount of trash that continues to litter the landscape is horrible to the Pick Up The Patch committee. It is not only unattractive, but it shows a general disregard for the people that live here and a lack of pride in this area that is unacceptable.
“Recently, a woman called and asked how far south we were planning to come,” states Holte. “The reason she was asking is because someone had put mattresses in her ditches.”
Pick Up the Patch began on Monday, May 12, and is going all week, with the big event scheduled for this coming Saturday, May 17.
“Because not everyone can participate this Saturday, due to conflicting schedules or other reasons, we have been urging people to get involved sometime during this week,” states Holte. “We are also urging families to bring their children and let them get involved, too.”
Holte states that children will not be placed in busy, high traffic areas, but in the safer parts of the community that need as much attention as the highways and roadways.
The big clean-up event will begin on Saturday at 8 a.m. in the McKenzie County Veterans Memorial Building. There, volunteers can pick up their safety vests and gloves, along with hand sanitizer, trash bags, a map and various other supplies.
From 1 to 2 p.m., a free lunch will be served for Pick Up The Patch volunteers.
Holte states that there is still time to put a team together and get involved in the event. Anyone is welcome and people are needed.