NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - A 17-year-old Nacogdoches high school student has taken caring about her community to another level. In 2020, she picked up over 1,000 pounds of trash.
Lillian Hook has been recycling and cleaning up trash at walks for as long as she can remember.
“I’m pretty sure the first memories I have of doing this is with my grandparents. We used to live somewhere else, and my brother used to have this little trike with a little container in the back. So, my grandparents would take it so we could put cans in the back of the trike,” Hook explained.
In 2020, Hook gathered over 1,000 pounds of trash and logged 73 hours of work. An organization called Keep Nac Beautiful also recognized Hook’s clean-up efforts because she exceeded her goal.
“I think, really, anything helps. I started just up there on the street and it was just picking up whatever I found,” Hook added.
“Last time when I went two weeks ago, it was like 150 pounds but sometimes its only 30 pounds. It really varies depending on what I find. I found three tires last time and they are really heavy,” said Hook.
Hooks says she finds most of the trash around creeks in the Nacogdoches community.
“Well, a lot of what you find is like broken like beer bottles. And then also stuff washes away from upstream quite a bit.”
“Pretty much pick up whatever I find that are kind of pretty or interesting, like old bottles,” Hook added. “Mostly everything is broken, but if I find anything that is intact and pretty interesting. So, I tend to keep it. There’s a lot of stuff from really all decades the oldest thing I have is from the 1930s.”
Picking up trash is more than a hobby. Hooks says keeping the community clean has become a way of life.
“The majority of times I went by myself, but a couple times my friend Nina came with me. That was really fun. Just digging around in the mud and finding things,” Hook said.
Hook plans to go to college at Texas A&M in hopes to become an environmental engineer.