Rivercrest residents see change amid the clean-up - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Rivercrest residents continue in their clean-up efforts

Rivercrest residents see change amid the clean-up

Timothy Armstrong's property following a massive clean-up. Timothy Armstrong's property following a massive clean-up.
Timothy Armstrong's property before the clean-up. Timothy Armstrong's property before the clean-up.
Timothy Armstrong Timothy Armstrong
Armstrong's neighbors say they are following his example and cleaning up their property. Armstrong's neighbors say they are following his example and cleaning up their property.
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) –Several Rivercrest residents are trying to get their yards up to code after being cited by the Angelina County Health District. The citations follow a special KTRE report. Now, one man's journey to clean up his property has sparked a chain reaction throughout the river bottom.

A big screen TV and tires– they're the remnants of a yard piled high with generations of scraps. The empty lawn has Timothy Armstrong's neighbors talking.

"It was really nasty, trashy, but now since he's cleaned up it's making it look a lot better on the hill," said Rivercrest resident Delores Messer.

Armstrong's property is not picture perfect, but it's definitely a work in progress that's spreading through the river bottom. "It's kind of like a fever and it's catching on," said Jerry Thorton, Rivercrest resident.

Thorton said he too, has tidied up his property. "I cleaned up a trash pile. I paid some boys $40 to help me clean up," he said.

As the scraps slowly disappear, Armstrong has mixed feelings.

"It feels like my freedom is taken away," he said.

But in the end, he said it feels like he's transforming his community.

"At least when people come down here, they'll be like 'Oh they got a pretty nice community now,' you know? It's starting to look like a good community and maybe it will change," said Armstrong.

"It makes me proud," said Thorton. "Shows they care about their community."

A community no longer hidden behind mounds of trash, junked cars and scraps strewn across the yard.

"It makes it a safer place to live for the little ones, like John over there," said Thorton.

Some residents are optimistic one day this community will thrive and shine. "[I want] this whole community to be clean. That's what I'm hoping," said Messer.  

Rivercrest residents are still in the process of cleaning up. If you would like to contribute to their efforts, e-mail Jena at jenajohnson@ktre.com. She'll help you get in contact with them.

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