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Daily walk turns into trash talk on Dash Point Road

Federal Way is a slightly more beautiful place because of Pat and Margery Godfrey.

The Godfreys, both 64, clean up trash along Dash Point Road near the Metropolitan Market on their daily walk. They’ve taken ownership of that stretch for the last year and a half.

It all began when the Godfreys were taking their walk to get coffee at Metropolitan Market. They were awed by the amount of trash accumulating in ditches and bushes along the road.

“It was very unsightly,” Pat said. “We were complaining about it.”

Some follow-up investigation revealed that the stretch of Dash Point Road was actually part of State Highway 509. So it wasn’t the city’s responsibility, nor the county’s. And the state apparently had bigger things to deal with.

“It just seemed like nobody was paying attention,” Pat said. “You can’t really expect the state to do it very often...It’s kind of a stretch that isn’t very well cared for.”

So the retired couple decided to take responsibility themselves. They purchased a pick-up tool and some 13-gallon trash bags and went to work.

“Instead of just complaining about it, we decided to be proactive,” Margery said.

“The fastest way to take care of something is to just do it,” Pat said. “If we don’t take responsibility for our own immediate area it either isn’t going to happen or it’s going to get worse.”

Since the couple began cleaning up, they’ve found Big Gulp cups from 7-11, fast food bags, beer cans and bottles, dirty diapers and cigarette butts. Once, they found a stolen credit card, which they returned to the bank. And they once found a used needle, but that was the extent of drug paraphernalia.

“We haven’t found any glass pipes or anything,” Pat said.

All the trash goes into a bag, which the couple drops off at the Metropolitan Market. As the couple cleans up, they’ve noticed that over time less trash accumulates.

“It seems to us that the more clean we keep it, the more clean it stays,” Pat said. “Trash attracts more trash.”

Margery held open a the bag last week while Pat placed inside a bag of tortilla chips.

“It amazes me that somebody would throw a whole bag of Doritos away,” Pat said.

“We try to be careful what we touch,” Margery added. “We always wash our hands afterward. You don’t know who touched it or they even could have peed on it.”

When the Godfreys finish their route, they head to the Metropolitan Market to dispose of the trash and have coffee.

Seeing the couple once a week has become a pleasant part of the routine at Metropolitan Market, said grocery clerk Sandee Adair.

“I think it’s fantastic,” Adair said. “I thought it was inspirational to see a couple kind of spending their retirement years together and productive and doing their part to keep their community how they like to see it.”

Contact Margo Horner: mhorner@fedwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565.

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