Members of the Rockton Lions Club split off into three groups to help clean up areas in downtown Rockton and surrounding areas.

By Marianne Mueller


Every year Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful (KNIB) supports all who participate in the Great American Cleanup. Organizers in various towns worked alongside KNIB to assure the best in beatification results.

Perfect weather set the perfect atmosphere as around 50 volunteers in the village of Rockton and Rockton Township showed pride in the communities they live in in addition to surrounding areas by picking up trash, recyclables, and more on Saturday, April 24.

Volunteers started off by going to a designated check-in site where they were provided with gloves, vests, giant sized yellow garbage bags and tongs to pick up garbage. 

Village Planning and Development Administrator Tricia Diduch headed efforts in the Village with the main focus on Rockton’s downtown, extending to the riverfront and beyond.

Different organizations took part in the day’s action including Rockton Lions club members, students and staff from North Boone High School, and members from Hononegah Woman’s Club. Additionally, families and individuals gave their time to clean specific sections. 

Reelected Rockton Township Supervisor Paul Williams and his wife Val served as organizers on behalf of the Township. Volunteers in the Township worked in the area of Prairie Hill Rd. from Rt.2 to Bluff St. plus a portion of Yale Bridge Road, Fischer Road, and Prairie Street.

Rockton Township Trustee Vicky Ivy and her friend Tina Toles cleaned by Shirland Road in South Beloit in addition to handing out supplies for volunteers who were ready to pitch in and to help in that area.

Val Williams’s sister and her friends; some who previously lived in Rockton but now live in Roscoe Township came out to help.

“We uncovered all kinds of goods,” Williams said. “There were far too many alcohol bottles. We also found VHS tapes, car parts, and hood ornaments.” KNIB gave helpful persons bowling passes and free Whopper passes for helping.

“Everyone’s help was greatly appreciated,” she said. “We sure hope that people will continue to clean up on a regular basis and to try to discourage any littering.”

Terrie Garlow worked with one of the Rockton Lions Club’s three groups. “We cleaned three areas of our downtown strip and a block on either side,” Garlow said. “It was great to be part of a community activity again and also to see the immediate results of our efforts. It was a beautiful day to go out into the community to ensure it was the best representation of what Rockton is all about.”

“The most unusual thing that was found in our experience was individual containers of Fireball,” Garlow said.

Bernie Limke of Hononegah Woman’s Club was one of the volunteers who took part in this year’s event. “The weather was absolutely beautiful and I enjoyed being outside,” Limke said. “I worked with another volunteer, and we headed to the other side of the river bank along the railroad tracks and behind a row of businesses across the street from Hononegah High School. Together we found beer bottles, water bottles, candy wrappers and plastic bags.”

Incoming Rockton Village President John Peterson also lent a hand as a volunteer. “I thought it was great seeing all the groups that were out cleaning up,” Peterson said. 

The Great American Cleanup has remained an annual event since 1988, creating a more beautiful environment for all.

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