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story.lead_photo.caption Keith Bryant/The Weekly Vista Cypress Wakefield (left), 3, holds up a steel shackle he found alongside the interstate while Jason Wakefield walks with him along U.S. Highway 71, just north of its intersection with Benton County Road 40.

The second annual 6 in 60 Cleanup, which aimed to clean up the U.S. Highway 71 corridor in Bella Vista, brought 120 volunteers together last Saturday.

The cleanup was organized by Positively Bella Vista, a social-media-based group that focuses on volunteer efforts in the city. Volunteers were sent out to designated sections of highway and spent an hour cleaning before meeting back up for lunch.

Last year's event had 60 volunteers.

Chris Taylor, the group co-founder, said that the group's goal is to get people together and working to improve Bella Vista.

"We're just thrilled to see this many people come out and support this community," he said.

Bella Vista city council member Steve Bourke said safety needs to be a top priority. Volunteers were given gloves and high-visibility vests.

He also urged volunteers to stay off the median and stick to their side of the highway.

Mayor Peter Christie said the state would pick up trash bags volunteers left alongside the highway.

He echoed Bourke's concerns about roadside safety and stressed the importance of remaining vigilant for critters, including snakes.

Moreover, he said, he was glad to see Bella Vistans coming together.

"This is what Bella Vista is all about ... it's neighbors helping neighbors," he said.

After an hour out alongside the road, Anne Hensley said she had a good time.

"The weather was perfect," she said.

Her group was down by Suits Us Drive, she said, and people stuck in Saturday's thick southbound traffic kept asking about what the volunteers were doing.

They got lots of thumbs-ups, she said, and it was a great experience.

It was also a good chance to make a positive impact, she explained, and that made a good use of her morning.

"I don't give up Saturdays for much," Hensley said.

General News on 04/10/2019

Print Headline: Volunteers pick up highway trash

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