Volunteers assembled on Oct. 26 for Phase II of Citizens for Pride in Pawhuska latest clean-up project which was initiated by Hub Crelia and Jenna Hague. Phase I removed accumulated sand, grass and silt from the south curb heading east from Lynn Avenue to Highway 99. Phase II tackled the north curb.
"We had a smaller crew Saturday but accomplished a lot with seven weed eaters going," said volunteer August Hague. "Initially we thought this would be an easier project than the south side. Turns out it was worse with grass growing through lots of gravel."
Hague said he broke away from the work crew long enough to unload some trash bags at the City Dumpsters on South Lynn Avenue.
"As I was unloading the bags, I mentioned to Troy Jester that we weren’t having much luck moving the grass and gravel from the curbs," said Hague. "By the time I got back to the work site, John Murdock had arrived with a city sweeper and cleaned up that mess as slick as can be."
Street and Sanitation Department Supervisor Jerry Brown said, "We are glad we were able to lend a hand. Our sanitation crews work Saturday mornings. The dumpsters are open to the public from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. every Saturday except on holidays."
Several members of District 2 County Commission Bob Jackson’s crew also joined in the clean-up efforts, including Road Supervisor Gary Howerton. Other volunteers included city councilman Mark Buchanan, Dr. Bob Chesbro, Daniel Boone, LDS Sisters Bingham and Thatcher, Hub Crelia and Cap Poulton, among others.
GFWC Heeko CPP Co-Chair Jenna Hague noted, "Chesbro and Boone don’t even live within the city limits but they showed their pride in Pawhuska. When Daniel finished up, he asked me when we had our next big project scheduled. The core group worked until 11:30 a.m. Howerton worked with the Power Broom even longer. Murdock continued throughout the afternoon with the street sweeper."
When the JC asked State Transportation Superintendent Brian Rumsey about this project, he said, "Jenna has done a great job of generating pride in Pawhuska. When the new highway was built, Pawhuska assumed responsibility for some of the highway frontage because of properties within the city limits which extends out to Highway 99. The city does a much better job of maintaining the right-of-way with their John Deere riders than we can with the state’s big packers and brush hogs. In all reality, they make it look real nice where we are restricted to 6-8 inches tall. We have a great working relationship with all our cities and do what we can to help when and where we can – it’s a reciprocal relationship. My crew is responsible for around 3,000 acres in Osage County. Everybody likes their towns to look nice coming in. It’s unbelievable how much time we spend picking up trash on the right-of-ways, including couches and chairs. That time that could be better spent somewhere else."
Jenna Hague said, "The highway project was our grand finale with cold weather coming on. Come spring, we plan to tackle the west side of town. In the meantime, I’m having fun painting curbs. Even though I have to get on a hot pad every night, it is so satisfying seeing the finished project. I just wish I had Tom Sawyer’s finesse in drawing more people into helping me. After I painted the entry to the Historical Society Museum, curator Barbara Pease stopped and said how nice it looked. I told her I wanted the entrance to match the newly renovated museum. I ran out of paint just as I finished my last stroke."
Regarding the highway clean-up project, Hague expressed appreciation to the city and county for going that extra mile (or two) to help clean up Pawhuska and to all individuals and businesses who made the clean-up project such a success.