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Private group to lead Old Taylor Road beautification efforts

A group of Lafayette County residents are coming together to help be the solution to what they view is a growing trash problem between Taylor and Oxford.

A public-private alliance between business owners and engaged citizens announced a plan to address the issue of litter along the six-mile stretch of Old Taylor Road.

According to Campbell McCool, who is leading the group’s efforts, the idea of pitching in and picking up trash along the side of Old Taylor Road has been in the works for a while.

“It’s really an economic issue,” McCool said. “We want to help the county knock out the trash on Old Taylor Road between the Oxford city limits and the Taylor city limits. We believe we can create a model that can be replicated across the country whereby private groups take responsibility for certain key roads and work with the county to change behavior. It’s not merely picking up trash. It is education, appealing to people’s sense of pride and love for our local community. This isn’t going to happen overnight, but we’re going to give it a shot.”

The group has engaged with Lafayette County supervisors, including District 3 Supervisor David Rikard. District 3 includes most of the Old Taylor Road corridor.

“We welcome this group’s effort and applaud their willingness to get involved in this important issue,” Rikard said in a statement provided by McCool.

The group’s effort will include placing signs, asking individual groups to adopt half-mile stretches of Old Taylor Road, in-school education programs and community work days.

Initial people and companies involved include Wonderbird Spirts, which is located off Old Taylor Road just north of Taylor, the Plein Air community in Taylor, singer and songwriter Charlie Mars, Taylor Alderman Shawn Edwards, Callahan Quick Print, Rainbow Cleaners and Oxford Family Pharmacy owner Jimmy Yancy.

Anyone interested in being involved in the Old Taylor Road beautification project can contact McCool at 662-832-2770.

In a separate effort, the City of Oxford is holding two community litter pick-up days on March 6 and April 17 from 8 a.m. to noon. Volunteers of all ages are welcome and the city will provide vets, litter sticks, gloves and trash bags.

For more information on the two clean-up days or to sign up to help, contact Michelle Robinson with Oxford Environmental Services at 662-232-2745 or mrobinson@oxfordms.net.