Making Oil Springs better one walk at a time

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Cathy Martin doesn’t just go for a walk; she is a one-person clean up crew in Oil Springs.

The long-time resident of the community takes a couple of shopping bags with her, one for garbage which has left on the side of the road and another for items which can be recycled. She’s been picking up trash for years. “I try to be discreet,” she says. But apparently that didn’t work.

Mayor Ian Veen says several people in the community were watching and were quietly thankful for her simple act which made the village a better place. He’d wanted to find a way to thank Martin but hadn’t found just the right thing. When Lambton County Warden Todd Case called and asked if he had any thoughts for a person who could be honoured as the Citizen of the Month, Martin’s name was on the top of his mind.

“It’s long overdue,” said Veen as Case presented Martin with the December award in front of the municipal office Tuesday.

“Lots of people work with organizations and they have avenues to be recognized,” says Case. “I look for someone who goes and does a good thing on their own.”

Case also recognized Martin’s work with local organizations. She’s been a canvasser for the Canadian Cancer Society for 27 years and also for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Kidney Foundation.

Martin, who recently joined the county’s Going Green Committee, says she never really thought much of picking up the trash, although sometimes it is a bit of a workout.

“The only thing I don’t like is when people leave their flyers out in the rain,” she says with a laugh “they get really heavy!”