Local resident and dog committed to making Gainesville cleaner
Gainesville is a lot cleaner than it was a couple of months ago, thanks to Gainesville resident Nathaniel Davis and his loyal canine companion Hitachi. Davis can be found most days walking alongside Highway 160, around the Gainesville square or on various side roads with a trash bag in tow and Hitachi by his side, picking up litter as he goes.
The pair have spent more than 60 hours over the past couple of months dedicated to cleaning the trash off the highway, sweeping up cigarette butts on sidewalks and cleaning litter off the square.
Davis, who was reluctant to give his name or be featured in the newspaper when approached by the Times, says he didn’t take on the project to get any type of praise or credit. Instead, he simply wants to do his part to make his hometown a cleaner place.
“I was walking him alongside the highway one day, and there was just all this trash,” he said, motioning to Hitachi. “I didn’t want him walking through all that. So I just decided to go ahead and clean it up.”
Trash and discarded items Davis has come across include a windshield from a vehicle, litter from restaurant take-out, styrofoam cups, cans and a lot of other litter as well.
At first, Davis was purchasing the trash bags himself, a pricy endeavor costing over $200. Now, the Missouri Department of Transportation maintenance shed in Gainesville donates the trash bags he needs and is picking them up from the roadway after Davis fills them. Gainesville city employee William Walrath has also donated trash bags, Davis said, adding that he no longer needs any additional donations of trash bags.
When asked if local residents can help him in any other way, he said the only help he needs is easy.
“Just stop littering,” he said. “That would be the biggest help I could get right now.”