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Montgomery County Broomin' & Bloomin' Countywide Clean Up

Montgomery County Broomin' & Bloomin' Countywide Clean Up
Blacksburg, VA
April 16, 1994
Becky Norton Dunlop

Good afternoon. It’s a real pleasure to be here with you today - not only because it’s always a treat to come to Southwest Virginia and Blacksburg, especially on such a beautiful spring day as this…

…But it is especially inspiring to see the tremendous energy and enthusiasm that this volunteer effort generates year after year to make your community a cleaner, healthier place to live. To think that more than 3,350 volunteers - that’s 5 percent of the entire Montgomery County community! - have come out today to pick up trash, clean up eyesores, eliminate illegal dumps, and collect thousands of pounds of aluminum, glass and plastic for recycling - it’s just wonderful…

…And confirmation of what I firmly believe is true – that people are our Number One natural resource. It all starts with people, individuals and organizations, public and private -- who are dedicated to making good things happen in their community and having the spirit and energy to get out there and lend a hand.

This annual cleanup brings together such a marvelous cross-section of citizens, students, businesses, local governments, clubs and organizations:

- There are the hundreds and hundreds of school students today who scoured their school yards and neighborhood streets, picking up litter and trash…

- There are the some 90 members of Young Life, a Christian youth organization, who joined with the EcoCycle Club at Va. Tech and the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity to tackle the cleanup of an illegal dump on Coles Road…

- The residents of the Blue Springs Road community who are volunteering today…

- The approximately 100 members of the Va. Tech Corps of Cadets who came out to help today…

- The public works employees of Montgomery County and Blacksburg and Christiansburg, and staff of the Virginia Department of Transportation, who volunteered to give their Saturday morning to drive trucks and loaders and help distribute trash bags…

- Local businessmen and Chambers of Commerce members who raised money for T-shirts and paid for this wonderful picnic…

- And Pepsi Cola, Tetra Manufacturing, Home Ride, Bogen’s Restaurant and Michael Cooke, who jointly sponsored the “Resource Program,” an effort distributing some 1,500 recycling boxes to public schools and another 800 for the Tech campus…

- And, of course, the 20 or so community residents who helped the Montgomery County Improvement Council coordinate this entire cleanup effort…

Volunteers all. I commend and congratulate each and every one of you for your community spirit and environmental stewardship. As Secretary of Natural Resources, I believe that environmental protection depends upon all of us - business, industry, government, schools, churches, clubs and average citizens - working together. That’s why my office in Richmond has an open-door policy. I want to get to know as many people as possible that care about our environment, and I hope to work with everyone interested in finding common ground to solve problems and protect our environment. State government must be accountable and responsive. State government must be accountable and responsive. I intend to help make it that way.

I also think there is a greater place in environmental management for new ideas and free-enterprise solutions - such as the contributions made by business and industry to today’s cleanup. New ideas, new partnerships, creative thinking -and sound science - can combine to give us not only a cleaner environment but a stronger economy as well. It’s my conviction that one depends upon the other: to have a healthy environment, we need a healthy economy.

Thank you again for your tremendous efforts today. And thank you for allowing me to share in the success of this annual event.