Peter Ardison's mission started over the summer when he noticed a lot of trash lining Bellevue Road near his home. He also realized public clean-up crews were stretched thin.
So, he contacted the county and offered to help. Officials gladly gave him garbage bags and litter sticks. He spent weeks cleaning that road and then recently moved on to part of G Street, leading to UC Merced. Several members of the Merced Rescue Mission pitched in to help.
"It made me feel real good," Ardison said. "I worked with them this summer, and I worked with the homeless also, I gave out water on hot days, and it's just a passion I have to give back."
Now Ardison has his sights set on cleaning up a stretch of north Highway 59, which is especially dirty because it leads to the dump.
He's hoping to recruit dozens of UC Merced students and local businesses to help beautify their community.