Volunteers brave traffic to clean Breakneck Hill Road

Volunteers brave traffic to clean Breakneck Hill Road

Volunteers with Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful and the Lincoln Community Cleanup Crew spent several hours picking up litter along Breakneck Hill/Great Road in Lincoln. (Breeze photo by Nicole Dotzenrod)

LINCOLN – Growing tired of seeing litter and trash pile up along Breakneck Hill Road in Lincoln, a group of volunteers took matters into their own hands and got to work beautifying the area.

Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful, the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council’s “waste reduction, litter prevention and community beautification” program, teamed up with the Lincoln Community Cleanup Crew to tackle the job on Monday.

The crew was formed last summer by Stephanie Santos with the goal of coordinating local cleaning efforts to help make the community a cleaner, more environmentally friendly place to live, to work, and to simply enjoy a nice walk outdoors without dodging trash.

The area of Breakneck Hill Road/Great Road where volunteers removed trash on Monday is part of one of nine state-designated “scenic roadways,” known for its “great vistas at every curve … traversing vast open space and rolling farmlands.”

Unfortunately, Santos said, the sheer volume of debris scattered carelessly along the road had a way of detracting from the lovely views.

“It’s scenic in that it looks like a garbage truck has flipped over,” she said. “We’d love to have a bigger cleanup in the future. It’s a beautiful, historic state road and it doesn’t have to be this way.”

The Breakneck Hill cleanup took place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is designated as a national day of service to encourage Americans to volunteer for their communities.

Volunteers filled roughly 20 bags of litter along the stretch of road from the MacColl YMCA to the s-curve near The Lodge Pub.

Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful coordinator Donna Kaehler said, “I don’t think people understand where the trash goes when they toss it on the side of the road. They assume someone else will pick it up. It doesn’t go away … it usually ends up in the waterways.”

Kaehler asked people to think twice before they litter.

“We need to make people understand that this is our home, and there’s no need for it to be this way. Litter comes from people, it doesn’t fall out of the sky like leaves. Our actions have consequences,” Kaehler said. “We really do care, because we don’t want the community to look this way. It’s dirty, unsanitary and dangerous, and communities that are heavily littered aren’t as inviting … people don’t feel as safe there.”

Kaehler said it’s easy to make a big impact by starting off small. She suggested clearing around your mailbox, along the street you live on, or “that empty little lot across the street.”

“If we all adopt a small piece, I think three-quarters of the community could be cleaned up,” she said.

For more information about future cleanup efforts, find Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful or Lincoln Rhode Island Community Cleanup Crew on Facebook.


Thank you for doing this and for caring about out town. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much for donating your time.