Volunteers clean up cigarette butts

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Clark County — Fifty-five volunteers showed up Saturday at Luke Jensen Sports Park in Hazel Dell and cleaned up a record 25 pounds of cigarette butts, organizers said.

The cleanup was part of the national “Make a Difference Day,” and put on by the city of Vancouver, Clark County Public Works and Clark County Public Health.

Saturday morning, the volunteers met in Hazel Dell and then went in groups to 10 parks throughout Vancouver and Clark County. In addition to the 25 pounds of butts, volunteers also collected 12 bags of litter, said Karen Llewellyn, volunteer coordinator with Clark County Public Works. Member of the Sherwood Neighborhood Association also picked up 20 bags of garbage.

Organizers were fearful that the rain would deter volunteers from coming out. But Saturday’s event surpassed last year’s effort in terms of volunteers and pounds of cigarettes collected.

Last year, the first year the county has organized a cigarette-butt cleanup, 50 volunteers picked up 15 pounds of butts, Llewellyn said.

“Despite the weather, I was really impressed with our turnout,” she said.