Daily walks lead to man battling litter

Published 10:43 pm Friday, May 8, 2009

Trash, trash, everywhere trash — it seems the more you try to pick it up, the faster it appears.

Ned Lowery of Jemison has spent about 15 years picking up litter during his morning walks to Jemison City Park. While the city has a crew of inmates to pick up litter every day, there is still plenty to be found.

“I’m going to be walking anyway, so why not pick up trash while I’m walking?” said Lowery, who sometimes fills up three fertilizer bags during one trip.

The longtime educator and former Jemison City Council member has more than one reason to walk. Because he is a diabetic and had heart bypass surgery in 2003, Lowery has to stay active in order to stay healthy.

“It’s the only way I can keep everything under control, and besides, I enjoy it,” he said Friday.

Though Lowery didn’t mind being interviewed, he doesn’t consider it any great feat to pick up garbage on a voluntary basis. It’s just a simple thing anyone can do to improve the community.

“It’s not a big deal. If you see a piece of paper, pick it up. If you see a can, pick it up,” he said.

Lowery said people think of themselves as being separate from the government. If people would take responsibility for their own trash instead of assuming that someone else will pick it up, he said, litter would be less of a problem.

Jemison Mayor Eddie Reed agrees.

“People need to take pride in keeping their surroundings clean,” Reed said.

The mayor admires Lowery for his willingness to help out and hopes other citizens, both young and old, will take notice.

“He is concerned about the city. It’s just awesome that he does something like that,” Reed said. “If we get more citizens like that, we can help make our city even cleaner.”