Practicing What You Preach - Cleaning Up Region 8

Brookland, AR - There's a problem in Region 8. Creeks and waterways are being filled with pieces of garbage. Its illegal dumping...

"You have a way of thinking that looks at a ditch and says that's a nice place to put my refuge." said Stephen O'Neal, Arkansas Game and Fish Streamteam coordinator.

But Dalton Herzig took a look at the problem and decided to fix it.

The young leader of a group of volunteers told Region 8 News, "Out in the boonies people will go out and dump whatever because they don't want to be bothered with handling the situation."

Dalton is only 17 years old, but from the way he's organized this project, you wouldn't know it.  He has spearheaded a project to clean the maple slough ditch in Brookland from years of illegal dumping. And now, he's trying to connect to the community and get them to stop dumping.

"Their kids are actually having to clean up the mess they've made in the past." said Dalton.

Everything from a Model T axle to barrels to the kitchen sink are in this illegal dump site.  Now over 100 students have volunteered in this small down to help clean it up and its something they're actually having fun with.

"You get to go down there...get in the water play in the mud..." as Melissa Williams, a 16 year old volunteer told us, "but you're also doing something good for your environment."

And while these kids are doing a great thing for the community, maybe the best part about what they're doing is for themselves.

Facilitator of the class that these students participate in, EAST Lab, told us, "It teaches our kids to continue to do things for the community and to be leaders.  To do good in life and look for good things to do."

And while the kids are getting some valuable experience and also cleaning up part of Region 8, maybe their families and friends will notice and the problem of dumping will be canned.