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Local Environmental Hero: The Ford Beautification Project

Dec 18, 2020

by Alexis Demitroff, Education and Public Outreach Assistant

What began as a COVID-safe activity to celebrate her birthday and pay-it-forward to the community, Kathy Ford and her husband Chuck, performed a roadside cleanup in their community of Egg Harbor Township. Little did they know it would turn into a weekly activity and what they now call the “The Ford Beautification Project.”

The determined husband and wife team, along with their dachshund mascot, Jewel, now aim to remove 100 gallons of litter from local roads and sidewalks each week during their two days off work. The couple also manages an active Facebook page where followers can offer encouragement, stay up to date with their cleanup adventures, and even recommend a nearby location that could use some attention. 


Using a gallon bucket to collect items, Kathy and Chuck spent hundreds of hours over the summer and fall months collecting litter. By Keep America Beautiful Day (September 20, 2020) the couple collected their 1,000th gallon of litter, which equates to 10,000 – 12,000 pounds of litter in just two months! Funds were recently raised to purchase a pushcart, which has been extraordinarily useful for keeping trash and recycling separate while collecting.

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The strangest items they’ve found so far include a carpet cleaner in the woods, a shoe in a lake, and a stray toothbrush.  They never quite know what they are going to find next, which certainly adds to the adventure.


The Fords encourage others to participate in local cleanups and remind the public that there are many great benefits like exercise and fresh air in addition to making the community a beautiful space.


“Do what you can. Anyone can make a difference,” said Kathy.


“We all have to do our part to make our world more beautiful,” added Chuck.


Right now, due to the pandemic, Kathy and Chuck are sticking to their team of two, but they are looking ahead to conduct some larger-scale cleanups in the future. You can follow them on Facebook at: @thefordbeautificationproject.

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