Doing Good While Social Distancing: Plymouth Family Picks Up Trash
Sharon and Tom Johnson keep part of Bass Lake Road in Plymouth trash free for the Hennepin County Adopt a Highway program. It’s a community service activity they can do while maintaining a healthy social distance from others.
Despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, a Plymouth couple continues volunteering through Hennepin County’s Adopt a Highway program.
Even in a COVID-19 pandemic, residents in the northwest suburbs are finding ways to get outside and do some good. Sharon and Tom Johnson are a Plymouth couple that spends a few hours a week picking up garbage along a section of Bass Lake Road between I-494 and Highway 169.
“Mostly every year there is a bunch of us,” Sharon Johnson said. “Probably about a whole six or seven of us. But this year it’s just been Tom and I together because of the social distancing.”
The Johnsons are part of Hennepin County’s Adopt a Highway Program.
Even with fewer hands on deck, the area of Bass Lake Road near Deerwood Street is practically immaculate. Sharon and Tom go up and down the thoroughfare carrying their garbage grabbers, which are a long stick-like item that picks up trash) and make sure it stays clean.
“If it’s been in someone’s car, it’s going to be along the side of the road,” said Tom Johnson. “Wish we didn’t have this problem, but it’s nice to get outside in fresh air. It’s so much nicer when you are out for a walk or a bike ride, to have a clean boulevard.”
Plenty of debris
Even with less traffic on the roads because of the novel coronavirus shutdown, the Johnsons still find plenty of debris. Unfortunately they have no problem filling up white plastic bags with the blue Hennepin County logo on the front.
“We’ve had probably close to 20 bags like this since the start of the spring melt,” said Tom Johnson. “It’s just nice to get out and get some exercise.”
In the past the Johnson’s neighbor, Doug Eichten, has done the bulk of the trash collecting on Bass Lake Road. See that story here.
Eichten is a snowbird who spends part of the year in Naples, Florida. He usually gets back to Minnesota in early May. But, because of COVID-19, Eicthen’s arrival has been pushed back to late June.
Until then, Eicthen says he will do his part, picking up garbage in the baking Florida sun along parts of US Highway 41.