GROVE - The 2.3 miles of Bay Crest Avenue in Grove may be the cleanest roadway in town. That is because two area residents have been walking that roadway and picking up trash for nearly eight years. Their work actually has a name - plogging. It means "Picking Up Litter While Walking."
The roadway which is the main thoroughfare to Patricia Island Country Club from Leisure Road is patrolled from five to seven days a week by Grove residents Billie and Tony White.
The couple moved to Grove in 2012 from Woodward, Okla., where Tony served as postmaster. The couple was trying to find a central location to live between their families.
One daughter lived in San Antonio and a parent lived in Peoria, Ill.
Billie says they looked at a lot of areas, but "kept coming back to Grove." The couple doesn't own a boat and they don't fish. But they do like to walk.
In fact, the couple walks between three and four miles a day. Shortly after they built their retirement home on Look Out Drive, they began walking in the neighborhood. One day, Tony decided it was boring and instead began walking along Bay Crest Avenue where wildlife is abundant and traffic whizzes by.
Shortly after beginning their daily walk along Bay Crest Ave. they starting talking about all the trash along the roadway. Billie told her husband, "Somebody should do something about the trash." And the next day they decided that they could make a difference and started carrying grocery sacks to pick up trash as they walked.
Now eight years later they are still walking and still picking up debris. The regular drivers along the 2.3 miles from Leisure Drive to South 595 Street often honk and wave at them. Some even shout out a "thank you."
It doesn't seem to matter if it is raining, cold or hot, the couple is determined to make their street clean. Billie says they have picked up a wide variety of trash including money, drug paraphernalia, car parts, and tools. Their weekly collection is bigger than their own weekly trash accumulation. The Bernice Sanitation truck which services their home will sometime pass by on their route and stop to let them throw a bag or two onto the truck.
So if you see this couple some morning along the roadway, honk, wave or shout out to them. Their advice is for others to pick a road to call their own. It's good exercise and good for the environment as well.