Local woman leads effort in cleaning up the county

Delaney Davidson believes Jackson County is a beautiful place and wants to keep it that way.

Living in Brownstown for most of her life, Davidson recently moved to the country in Norman.

After her move, there was a road she often traveled where she began to notice litter.

“One day, I’d had enough of looking at the horrendous amounts of litter on the side of the road, so I stopped and did a cleanup,” she said. “I picked up seven bags of trash and recyclables in just over an hour. There was so much litter.”

Davidson said it took her just minutes to fill one bag, and there are many areas in the county that need the same attention.

In an effort to preserve the beauty of our county and keep it clean, she created the Clean Our County project.

In coordination with Earth Day last week, Davidson asked the community to join her in picking up litter on the sides of the roads and working toward a cleaner environment last Friday and Saturday.

A large dumpster donated by Gray Dumpster Rental in Seymour was placed behind The Brooklyn Pizza Co. and The Seymour Brewing Co. in Seymour for those who wanted to help fill it with roadside litter.

“It’s a central location in Jackson County and perfect for those who want to participate,” she said. “Shawn Malone has been so kind to let me set the dumpster at his business.”

For the volunteers who wanted to meet before beginning their cleanup, Davidson had set a time of noon on Saturday to discuss areas that needed attention and to give out trash bags and gloves to anyone who needed them.

Meeting at Brooklyn Pizza and using the dumpster was not a requirement, though, so people who knew areas of the county that needed cleaning up were welcome to go ahead and do so.

Davidson’s boyfriend, Hamilton Baker, said the trash bags and gloves were donated by The Home Depot in Seymour.

“I’m very proud of Delaney for organizing this and getting businesses in the area to help support the effort by donating resources,” Baker said.

Thanks to Shawn Malone, Baker said each person who brought back a bag filled with litter and dropped it in the dumpster behind Seymour Brewing last Saturday would be eligible for a discounted ticket to see Hyryder there this week.

“Everyone can contribute to their community by simply stopping alongside the road and picking up litter,” Baker said. “Every effort helps, whether it be a small bag, a large bag or just throwing a few empty cans in the bed of your truck.”

Andy and Kori Davidson, Delaney’s parents, decided to get an early start picking up litter Saturday morning at the entrance to Hickory Hills Golf Club in Brownstown.

“We walked up the stretch and back by Hickory Hills and couldn’t believe how much trash we got in two hours,” Kori said. “We collected 13 trash bags full. It makes me feel so good to make this world a better place.”

Andy said on Friday, they had gone mushroom hunting, but all they found was trash.

“We brought out trash from deep in the woods, and I don’t even know how. It’s crazy,” he said. “There were beer cans and antifreeze jugs back in the Hoosier National Forest.”

The Davidsons are very proud of their daughter for organizing the Clean Our County effort in connection with Earth Day.

“She really loves Mother Earth and is all about taking care of the planet,” Andy said.

Around noon Saturday, Davidson and Baker arrived behind Seymour Brewing in a pickup truck, and the entire bed of the truck was full of trash, including big pieces of wood, a high chair, a mattress and much more.

Davidson said it’s always good to remember when picking up along the roadway to be careful of vehicles.

“We found this on a gravel road near the Hoosier National Forest where people go to dump their trash, and there are tires and all kinds of things,” Davidson said. “That’s were this mattress was, and there’s trash down in a little valley, so you have to go down there and pull it all out.”

After placing all of the litter in the dumpster, the couple set out for SpringHill Camps to pick up litter along West State Road 258.

Malone said he went to school with Kori, and when Delaney told him about the cleanup project, he encouraged her and told her if he could help out in any way to let him know, so he was happy to have the donated dumpster set out back.

“Today’s going to be a busy day, and I think we’re going to tackle an area out on (U.S.) 31 where you turn left left off of (U.S.) 50,” Malone said. “There’s a field out there that takes on a lot of debris, so I think that’s where we’re going to concentrate on today.”

Whoever helped with the project and stopped by to put trash in the dumpster could get a ticket to see Hyryder this week for $5, which would be a $15 ticket normally. On Saturday afternoon, there was live music at Harmony Park, too, for when people stopped by after they got done with their cleanup.

At the end of the day, Malone said there were about a half-dozen people who stopped by with trash they had picked up and got the discounted tickets.

“But several folks tagged us on Facebook, doing their part in their neighborhoods and using trash cans at home to dispose of the garbage,” he said. “We did fill up that huge dumpster, though.”

Davidson said her ultimate goal was to fill the dumpster and clean up Jackson County so residents may enjoy its beauty to the fullest. With the help of community members, Clean Our County was a success and something to continue to do.

“By coming together and cleaning up our community, we will have a positive impact on thousands of lives and help many living beings in our area to have a longer, healthier life,” she said. “There are many reasons why we should be proactive in cleaning our county, and our motto for 2022 is ‘Love this place, leave no trace.’”

Those doing their part and helping clean up litter around the county can post their photos on Facebook with the hashtag #cleanourcounty to share their progress.