Hometown Hero: Gene Emery

By: Ashley Davidson
By: Ashley Davidson

"It's been a little over three years."

If you frequent Preston Miller Park, chances are you've seen Gene Emery. He walks there every night with his dog, Sam.

"Basically what I do is just come to the park to walk him. And I thought, while I'm out here why not pick up trash too."

Gene and Sam walk for about an hour or two all over the park and the parking lot. Sam helps him look for trash.

"Sam helps by finding times. Bark Bark. That I don't normally see."

Although he picks up all kinds of trash, certain items are a bigger priority.

"Mainly I look for glass, glass bottles, things that would injure children when they come to the park."

During our walk we found a group of people watching a volley ball game. They were big fans of Sam.

"Most of them say, Hey Sam."

He doesn't get paid for all the work he does. But Gene says some people ask him how he got the job.

"Some people think it's a job and they ask me how to get this job. And the way I explain it to them is, you just get a dog, get a leash, get a gofer and go to work."

He says they take a different route each night to ensure as much of the park gets clean as possible. Gene says he's glad he can help out the parks and keep them safe for kids.

Gene has worked at the GM plant for over 36 years. He also volunteers for community projects like tearing down old houses. He says it's important to wear reflective gear because he does it at night.


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