A group of young people who keep local highways litter-free throughout the summer received a special honor recently for their hard work.

They are teen members of the ALPAR Fairbanks Youth Litter Patrol. The group is the winner of the ALPAR 2013 Outstanding Litter Program Award for exemplary service to the Fairbanks community.

ALPAR stands for Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling.

Director David Drumhiller accepted the award at a special banquet in Anchorage earlier this month.

Most of us focus on the one Clean-Up Day every spring, but this group keeps the highways clean all summer long.

“In 2013, we employed 18 young people throughout the summer,” said Leslie Drumhiller, vice-president of the group. “Usually we do a crew of eight to 10 per crew. Two crews are employees. Each works for five weeks.”

The litter patrollers are 14 and 15 years old and they make minimum wage. But history has shown that many of them grow up to become police officers, bank officials and other contributing members of society, Drumhiller said.

 “It teaches good values and community contact,” she said. “We are very much in the public eye.”

The litter patrol has been in existence since 1984 and this is the second time it has received this statewide award.

The group collects litter along highways, riverbanks, sloughs, bypasses, gravel pits and other public areas.

“In 2013, we picked up 32,820 pounds of garbage in more than 2,205 garbage bags,” Drumhiller said. “We cleaned more than 200 miles of roads, bike paths and riverbanks in the Fairbanks North Star Borough.”

Included in that pile was the following, much of which was recycled: 665 pounds of aluminum, 60 pounds of copper, 45 pounds of stainless steel, 30 pounds of brass, 500 pounds of iron, 12 electric motors, one chest of drawers, one armoir and four truckloads of cardboard.

“It is un-flipping-believable what I have found,” she said.

Once in awhile, there’s cash hidden in the throwaways.

“Mostly we find ones and fives,” Drumhiller said. They get to keep those, since it would be impossible to find the owners.

Also among the roadside trash are books, clothes, shoes, Christmas trees and holiday decorations.

Teens apply for this position through the state job service.

“For 2014, we have record numbers applying,” said Drumhiller. “They work for five weeks, up to 38 hours per week. It’s a full-time job.”

The patrol uses litter sticks, which allow them to pick up garbage without leaning over to pick up every piece of trash.

The 2014 patrol begins their season of cleanup May 27, after an intense safety training.

The Fairbanks Litter Patrol will be recognized in the upcoming Guide to Recycling, published in Anchorage on Friday.


Free market


When you get a chance, grab a copy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Summer Adventure Guide. There is so much available this summer, it will be hard to choose what to do.

There are 45 free events on campus this summer.

The summer season begins with the Really Free Market from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Patty Center parking lot.

“This has been going strong and will go strong again,” said Michelle Bartlett, director of summer sessions and lifelong learning. “People can bring in items that are clean, safe and useable,” she said.

Drop off gently used items between 8 and 10 a.m. and then come pick up used items you may need from 10 a.m. to noon.

“This really reflects the Golden Heart City at its finest,” she said. “It’s springtime, we are cleaning out our closets, people can help themselves without having to go to the transfer stations.

“There will be everything here from clothes to toilets.”


The Village Square 


An expert at bringing communities together and one of the creators of The Village Square organization will give a free lecture at 7 p.m. May 19 at the Murie Building Auditorium, on the UAF campus.

Allan Katz, former U.S. ambassador to Portugal, will discuss “Incivility and Gridlock in Washington: Why America Needs the Village Square.”

“They have formed this organization in other cities, in other countries,” Bartlett said. “It solves problems by everyone getting together.”

It’s the new town hall and describes itself this way on the website: “The Village Square is a nervy bunch of liberals and conservatives who believe that disagreement and dialogue make for a good conversation, a good country (and a good time). Join us.”

Parking is free at Museum of the North for this event. For more information, see www.tothevillagesquare.org.


UAF offers $100 summer courses


Here’s a deal that is hard to pass up. For only $100, you can take a summer class at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. No credit, but also no papers. No tests. No additional tuition.

There are 42 different classes available, from digital video editing to history of music. Check the list in the new 2014 Educational Adventure Guide.

CALL stands for Community Adventures in Lifelong Learning. Find more info here: www.uaf.edu/summer/call.

This program was created at the suggestion of retired Weller School teacher Bob Marok of Fairbanks. He wanted to take classes, but with two kids in college, it just wasn’t in the budget. Auditing the class was still expensive. UAF came up with this alternative and makes a special point of thanking Marok for the suggestion in the catalog.

Contact community editor and columnist Kris Capps at kcapps@newsminer.com and at 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.