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A Yavapai environmentalist

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Cleaning up the roadway near the rez

By Don Decker, YAN News

There is nothing more unsightly than roadside trash on the Middle Verde Road from I-17 to the boundaries of the Yavapai-Apache Nation.

Troy Kaska honors mother earth daily.

And thanks to the concerns of YAN member Troy Kaska, the road just got a little cleaner.

“I ride my bike on this and do see all this trash. My cousin (Gertie Smith) and I were talking about this one day and said we should pick up trash”, said Kaska.

Kaska, a Yavapai cultural specialist, rides the Middle Verde Road almost daily on his bike to the cultural center, a distance of 2 miles to the east.

On his first outing, Kaska collected 4 giant bags of trash within 100 yards of the first turn off to Middle Verde community. “There’s candy wrappers, clothes, old trash, Sonic, Mobil and McDonald’s trash and other trash that has been blown in,” he said as he held on to an empty plastic bag yet to be filled. By 10 that morning, it was getting hotter and the edge of the road appeared more promising.

“I’m going all the way to I-17 and then back on the opposite side of the road,” he said as I-17 appeared half a mile away to the east.

“People drive on this every day and some of it is our tribal members who throw this (trash) out the window,” he added. He’s not partial to anyone when it comes to roadside trash.

And thanks to the Nation’s probation department with Monte Reimer, Kaska received the donated bags for the trash project.

“Some people think I’m on probation but I volunteered for this,” he added with a chuckle.

Monte Reimer, probation officer for the Nation said he picks up all of the bags Kaska collects and throws them in the dumpster next to the Nation’s recreation  building. Reimer likes what Kaska is doing.

So, if you see Troy Kaska on the Middle Verde Road picking up litter, give a toot.

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YAN News photo

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