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A Step in the Right Direction

Local woman walks for health and a clean neighborhood And she said with a laugh, “I’m a nosy neighbor.” One has to know Sarah Manry to understand both her sense of humor and her passion for what has become perhaps the trashiest walk in Barnesville. ”I walk two miles a day since I had a heart transplant,” she said. “The doctors told me to walk every day for at least two miles. I do this seven days a week.” Manry doesn’t just walk though. She also picks up trash along her route. Don’t confuse her for a criminal offender out to gain community service hours. As most do, Manry just sees the amount of trash blowing about on the roads and in the driveways. Unlike many though she has chosen to be proactive. ”Maybe I learned it from my momma,” said Manry. “She lived on Georgia 41 and she started every day by picking up trash in front of the house.” The obsession, as some may call it, started with an AARP neighborhood watch. Manry decided to represent the territory she had begun walking. ”I spoke to every homeowner and devised a plan of action,” she said. “That ultimately fell through. I wasn’t going to let my efforts fall though so I kept it up.” After moving to her current home in Barnesville in 1984 she noticed the neighborhood was starting to fall apart. Homeowners and renters alike were allowing disrepair to destroy the quaint neighborhood just behind Forsyth Street. ”Everyone can take responsibility for where they live – even if they rent.” she said. Since beginning her garbage collection Manry has gone from three sacks of trash a day to just one. Things have gotten better and she is quick to tell anyone who asks. ”I just want the neighborhood to look as nice as I know it can,” she said. “I live here and I love it. I want it to stay as nice as it can. It is that simple.”

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