Three months ago, Tyler Shookman, a local Realtor, was driving a doctor from New Jersey around Owensboro, showing him what the city had to offer.
The doctor was considering moving to the city.
“He said he couldn’t believe how much trash he saw,” Shookman said. “He had a job offer here, but didn’t take it. That really opened my eyes. It bugs me to see trash blowing around.”
“We were in small groups because of COVID,” Shookman said. “We each presented our ideas for a project to a panel of judges that included Mayor Tom Watson. Mine was ‘Keep Owensboro Beautiful.’ And it won. We want to become an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful.”
He said, “Our city parks are beautiful. But we need to do something about the trash. We want to team with Abby Shelton (the city’s community development director) to create volunteer days. We only have one chance to make a good first impression.”
Shookman said, “It doesn’t take much money to get volunteers to pick up trash. And we need to do a lot better with recycling. We don’t even recycle aluminum cans. Do you have any idea how many beer cans we throw out?”
He said, “We need to get the ball rolling.”
Shookman said the group’s first meeting will be in August.
He said, “The mission of Keep Owensboro Beautiful is to provide our community with the education, encouragement and resources necessary to promote and improve recycling, cleanliness and beautification throughout the city of Owensboro and Daviess County.”
Shookman said the group wants to partner with local agencies to “help beautify blighted lots, parks and boulevards throughout Owensboro and Daviess County.”
He said they want to organize volunteers for monthly trash pick-up days in the community, get involved with local schools for recycling education days, provide recycling containers for community events and team up with local recycling companies to promote recycling in the community.
Shookman said the group wants to attract corporate sponsors for resources and volunteers and work with local government agencies, schools and youth groups.
He will serve was president of Keep Owensboro Beautiful.
Other officers are Somer Dunaway, vice president; Samantha Howard, secretary; Bethanie Roberts, treasurer; and Gwyn Payne, annual director.
By Keith Lawrence Messenger-Inquirer