Volunteers clean forest; child finds meth lab - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Volunteers clean forest; child finds meth lab


By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - More than 100,000 acres of national forest land is cleaner thanks to the efforts of volunteers. It was all part of the 18th annual De Soto Ranger District cleanup. 

Four little girls took on a big job on Saturday. Daisy Troop #569 of Gulfport picked up tires dumped on the side of the road. 

Cassidy Tyree, a young troop member, said she was "not very happy because it makes the Earth dirty. Quit littering."

The 5 and 6-year-olds were among 250 volunteers who cleaned three areas of the De Soto National Forest. Their parents says they want the children know it's important to take care of the environment.

Dori Cavin is a mother and troop leader.

"When they're young is when they learn the best so if they learn this now when they grow up it will be okay, I shouldn't through this on the side of the road."

Rangers say the cleanup is a chance to get the word out that it's not okay to litter the forest.

"Hopefully as people come out and volunteer picking up trash, they can spread the message out that this is a beautiful place," said District Ranger Ron Smith. "We really need to dispose of our waste material in another manner."

Meanwhile, the girls from the Daisy Troop say they're glad to help.

Brooklyn Williams said she was "happy because we picked up stuff together. We have team work."

Rangers say volunteers, along with about 300 forest service employees, picked up 1,200 bags of trash and 10 tons of tire and metal. Some of what was collected will be recycled.

There was a tense moment during the cleanup when rangers say one of the little girls picked up a discarded meth lab.

"Today we did find a methamphetamine residue in part of the trash," said Smith. "I'm really concerned about that, but I'm also very thankful that Harrison County has done a wonderful job in stepping up enforcement. We don't want our public to come out and recreate on the forest and come in contact with that hazardous material."

Rangers say the shake-and-bake lab was inactive and the child was not hurt.

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