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Operation Green Team, Adopt-A-Mile volunteer recognized by Gov. Kay Ivey

Published on December 2, 2021

Erick Wade and LaChelle pose near Adopt-A-Mile sign

Huntsville’s Erick Wade was recently honored for his volunteer work with the City’s Operation Green Team and the Adopt-A-Mile programs. Wade received the Alabama People Against a Littered State (PALS) Governor’s Award at a ceremony at the Renaissance Convention Center in Montgomery.

Alabama PALS provides anti-litter programming to improve the environmental and economic impact on the state.

A Green Team volunteer since 2016, Wade proudly took on an Adopt-A-Mile route in North Huntsville two years ago. Every Sunday morning, he’s on his stretch of Sparkman Drive.

Besides the Alabama PALS recognition, Wade has earned several community service awards through the years, including the Perry O. Ward District Community Service Award from the City.

“Rain, sleet or snow, I’m usually out there,” Wade said. “I might have missed one or two weekends, but my name is on that sign and I made a commitment. I love every minute of it.”

Green Team Coordinator George Martin has worked closely with Wade.

“Erick is just a get up and go kind of guy,” Martin said. “He wants to get it done and gets out in the community and does the hard work himself. His whole goal is to make a difference in the community.”

Dedicated to making the Rocket City a cleaner place to live, Wade proved his commitment earlier this year the weekend he married his wife, LaChelle. He managed to sneak a few hours in at the Flint River Cleanup event before exchanging vows.

During the past five years, Wade has worked with other groups, including Temple Lodge #98, in cleanups at Jim Merak Park. He’s also joined Tennessee Valley Consistory No. 60 in an Adopt-A-Mile effort off Medaris Road.

“I wanted to do more because the litter problem was not just in my district, it was everywhere,” Wade said. “Eventually, I started what I called my ‘Tour of Huntsville,’ and made sure to do litter cleanup work in all the districts. I simply followed Operation Green Team around the City because they were everywhere.”

Litter cleanup is one of his passions because he feels he gets so much in return.

“It’s great exercise and gives me a real peace of mind to plan my next move,” Wade said. “I’ve met so many good people who have stopped to chat or gave me a cold drink. I’ve also collected a grand total of $8.50 cents in lost change.”

To get involved with the City’s Green Team or to Adopt-A-Mile as a group or individual, contact green.team@huntsvilleal.gov or call the Green Team office at 256-53-CLEAN.

Follow the Green Team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to learn more about volunteer opportunities.