Havre Daily News/Nikki Carlson
Walmart store manager Jamey McDaniel grabs a box of recyclable items out of the back of a pickup truck at the Havre Pride fall cleanup Redemption Site on the corner of 5th Avenue and 1st Street Saturday morning. See Friday's Community page for more Havre Pride photographs.
Cross-county team members were standing outside of Havre High School Saturday morning, carrying trash bags that would soon be put to use.
"The coach told us to be here at 10 a. m. and bring a garbage bag," said Matt Hanley.
The athletes would soon be running around Havre, combining a Saturday morning practice with community service. They were taking part in Havre Pride, the cleanup and recycling program run by the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce twice a year.
It just happened that Havre Pride took place on a rare Saturday when there is no cross-country meet, Coach Kyle Fisher said. The school wants to take an active role in the community that supports it, he said.
"We are appreciative of what the community does for us," he said. "We want to give back to the community."
Four teams of runners took off from the high school, running around town picking up trash from streets and sidewalks. The garbage then went to massive bins at 5th Avenue and 1st Street.
Teams that collected the most trash won awards.
Havre Pride Day has taken place every spring and fall for two decades, and organizations, businesses and households throughout the area have scheduled spring and fall cleanups around the event.
There was a steady flow of people in cars and trucks coming to the parking lot in downtown Havre where trash bins and recycling containers were housed.
"It's been great all morning," said Jessica Guy, a customer service supervisor from Walmart, who was staffing the recycling bin her employer sponsors.
"We've filled one truckload, and we're working on another," she said.
"We're here for some important community service for YouthBuild," said Tony Rider-Flynn, who was collecting paper, cardboard and metal that would be taken to Pacific Recycling later in the day.
Among the workers was Lisa Smith, an AmeriCorps volunteer working this year with Opportunity Link Inc.
"I'm here as part of my 9/11 day of service," she said.
As people drove in, Bonnie Bennett, a longtime volunteer, helped them bring with trash and recyclable materials, to the bins.
The best kind of recycling, she said, is reusing materials so they don't throw them out.
"Look at this," she said, pointing to an Atlas magazine with maps for each state. It had been thrown out by one of the people driving in.
"It's in good condition.... I can use this," Bennett said.
Kim Cripps wore an "Adopt Havre" T-shirt as she put her trash into the bin.
Adopt Havre, she explained, was the name of the program when it first started more than 20 years ago. She has been the coordinator and chief cheerleader for the program since it was launched.
"Things are going well," she said. "We have people from the hospital, people from the high school, youth diversion people," she said. "They are all over town."
Some young people take part in Havre Pride to meet their community service obligations after being found guilty of minor offenses.
"I sent seven of them over to the old post office," she said. "The place is full of trash and weeds," she said. "It looks scuzzy."
The program has been so successful, she said, organizers are looking into expanding it.
"It would be nice to have one in the winter," she said.
It would be impossible to have people go out into the Havre winter to pick up trash, but trash bins and recycling containers would be set up at a place like the barn at the Hill County Fairgrounds, she said.
"People could bring in all of their Christmas boxes and wrappings," she said.