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Meet a KIBCU Volunteer

Jon Merryman

“The World would be a much better (and cleaner) place if more people were like Jon"

Jon, a resident of Catonsville for many years and an employee at Lockheed Martin, spends most of his free time removing debris from the Patapsco Valley area and local waterways. Since 2009, he has been removing all sorts of trash from the local river and sides of the road, and doing it alone, for free. Jon has stated that he has lost track of the amount of pollution he has collected over the years, but mentions he has dedicated at least 500 hours per year. I believe it is probably much more.

I met Jon several years ago at one of our cleanups after I connected with him via Facebook. He showed up to Terrapin Beach and was a workhorse of a volunteer. He started in right away, bringing tires, large metal poles, and trash bag after trash bag of debris back to our tent. I was amazed and inspired by how quickly and effortlessly he worked, all with a smile and a laugh. Since that day, we have become "trash friends," sharing photos of cleanups with one another online. Although, I could never hold a candle to Jon and the work he is doing. He cleans every single day. On his way to work, he stops and cleans. On his lunch break, he cleans. And just earlier this year, he went on a mission to clean across the US as a part of the #30daysofpickinguplitter online campaign. After he participated at our March 2019 cleanup, he left and went right out onto Route 18 in Stevensville, and started cleaning up our county roads. As we left the cleanup at noon, he was still out there removing debris. He views this as setting an example for his two children, and enjoys the workout. Jon realizes that not everyone can do what he does, but he urges those that are able, to do whatever they can.

We admire Jon for all of his hard work out there cleaning up what many have illegally dumped, left behind, thrown out of their cars, or accidentally let slip away. We invite you to check out some of his work on the Facebook Group, Bmore Trashpickers where he posts daily the photos of his solo cleanups. Heck, you may see him at a KIBCU cleanup in the future. He'll be the one carrying 4 tires and a bag with a huge smile on his face. If you ever drive by a pile of collected debris in or around Catonsville, know that Jon is close by doing his good work of making our World a better place!

Kristin Weed, August 2019 Newsletter

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