We had about 20 residents/property owners show up ready to work on the 9th of November. We ordered in a 30yd dumpster, had chain saws buzzing, hammers banging and rakes in high gear. Several yards were cleaned, a porch cleared of damaging vines and trash, dead trees/branches/shrubbery removed. Another house had the pipes winterized, a leak fixed and the roof repaired. Scrap metal, concrete chunks, old furniture and carpeting were picked up out of yards and carried to the dumpster for disposal. By the end of the day, the dumpster was overflowing! Took Colton a lot of time on the tractor to get it packed down level for transport.
The Pastor of Burkett Baptist Church, Audey Sheppard, and owner of AREACO Bruce Adams, along with Ernie were operating chain saws trimming deadfall and dangerously overhanging branches.
Mike, Melinda and Colton were running the bucket to haul trash to the dumpster, shredding lots and cleaning yards for some of the elderly residents. Thank you to Melinda for mowing the BVFD lots. Looks much nicer now!
There were so many workers I didn’t see what everyone was doing. My time was spent ensuring lunch was ready for the crowd. We had plenty of water, hot coffee, sandwich makings and cookies for everyone to eat their fill.
Most of the work was under the direction of one of our main organizers, Linda. She did a great job of pulling things together.
There were people on mowers, shredders, tractors running all over Burkett. When they were done, things looked clean, trimmed and nice. We still have a house to paint for a resident and another that’s in the process of being torn down.
Burkett is an official Texas Ghost Town. It’s an old oil boom town (population of about 1500) that has fallen on hard times. The ranchers are the largest viable industry now. Out of about 30 businesses, only 2 churches, the Community Life Center, the Volunteer Fire Department and the Post Office remain open. The population has dropped to around 60.
Most of the younger people have had to move away in search of jobs and the elderly are becoming fewer and unable to care for their properties. Many properties are either rented or left abandoned. When that happens, yards and homes start looking seedy and unattractive. Thanks to our volunteers, driving through town is much nicer. There is a renewed sense of community pride.
Thank you to all who came out to help make our first Clean up day such a success.
Susan ~ Patchkat