May 4—Long-term Pueblo West resident Lori Burner worked alongside her husband Cecil, the Pueblo West Metro District Parks and Recreation and Streets and Roads, and volunteers to hold a community clean up event April 28.
Burner said the idea for the clean up came to her because she's noticed an alarming amount of litter within the community over the years.
"I was born in 1930 and Colorado was considered the most beautiful state," Burner said. "We had signs all over that said, 'Littering is a fine.' People didn't litter because you were fined quite a bit of money. Now I look at Pueblo West, the whole state even, and it's horrible. Nothing is being done."
Burner noted she happened to see an area from McCulloch Boulevard by Spaulding Avenue and knew something needed to be done.
After reaching out to many people within the community, Burner finally found someone to get the ball rolling. The Parks and Recreation Supervisor, Lou Archuleta, heard what Burner had to say and from there the idea began to grow and ultimately took place.
"I wanted to thank Lou Archuleta, Carol Cosby, and the staff at Parks and Recreation for listening to me," Burner noted. "They are working so hard. They are the ones who have taken action. (Archuleta) started this and from there, it was all hard work from (Cosby) and the staff at Parks and Recreation."
Another reminder Burner wanted to give the community is that summer is near, and while she and the group who took part in the clean up were walking along McCulloch, she noticed a large amount of disposed cigarette butts.
"There were hundreds," Burner said. "The fires are coming, this is summertime. It needs to stop."
Burner and her husband Cecil have been a part of the Pueblo West community for several years, and their passion for keeping it clean has a long history.
Cecil Burner, a Navy World War II veteran who was a part of the submarine division has since prioritized speaking to students about the importance of taking care of the country. He would visit schools in La Junta, to speak to students, but now hopes to do the same in the Pueblo West community.
"Now we want to bring the kids in this area to listen," Lori said. "He's trying to tell kids how important it is to be citizens of the United States."
Lori said that she hopes to continue holding clean ups in the community alongside the Pueblo West Metro District to restore the community to its former glory, and that people of all ages are encouraged to join the group that has been coined 'The Burners and their litter pickers.'
"We want young and old, the little ones and the big ones," Lori said. "Then we would like Pueblo West to start showing others in the community what we can do."
In a press release from the district, Archuleta stated that he and the district were thankful for the collaboration and efforts from the Burners in creating passion for the community and striving for pride and clean up efforts.
The district and Burners encourage anyone who would like to participate in future clean ups to call the Parks and Recreation department at 547-7400.
Chieftain and Pueblo West View reporter Alexis Smith can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @smith_alexis27.