Environmental Deputy Shaun Copelin recognized Shawnee residents Glenn and Jeanne Ring as the Environmental Crimes February Volunteers of the Month in the regular Pottawatomie County Commission meeting Tuesday, Feb. 18.

According to Copelin, he began this program at the beginning of the year as a way to show appreciation to members of the community who go above and beyond to help "Keep Pottawatomie County Clean."

"Glenn and Jeanne...have been strong supporters of the program since it started. They were very vocal and active on our Facebook page and helped clean up on a couple of clean ups," Copelin said.

The deputy explained Glenn and Jeanne are extremely proactive in keeping the community clean and rather than just bring the issue to Copelin, they assist him with his job.

Copelin said because of the couple, several other members of the community have been inspired to help with clean ups and clearing away trash.

"They have picked up several hundred pounds of trash in just the last few weeks...As they've posted pictures of them doing it...it's caught on and it has been infectious," Copelin said. "It's starting to catch fire and I give them a lot of credit for that."

Both Glenn and Jeanne said they're grateful to Copelin, are honored to receive this award and inspired by all the work the deputy does.

"It's nice. We're very appreciative of it. It's just a very small drop in the bucket from everything that Shaun has done from what we've done," Jeanne said.

Glenn said the couple moved to Shawnee 20 years ago and adopted two miles of the highway and did what they could, but it was challenging to keep the area clean.

"Then (Shaun) showed up and he gets everything organized...He's inspired everybody, us included, to start picking up because we know someone (has) got our backs," Glenn said.

Shanda Willis McDonald was also recognized as a Volunteer of the Month in January Copelin said.

"The very first time I did a clean up she organized a group of volunteers and she's been on every single clean up we've done," Copelin said. "She brings food to the crew and she was early on the Facebook page and one of those people that really supported the group."

Copelin said he will award Volunteer of the Month to someone at the last County Commission meeting of the month each month.

The deputy explained he feels happy to have so much help from the community because it takes many to "Keep Pottawatomie County Clean."

"That's what we have to have. One person can't do it. Two people can't do it. It's going to have to be all of us in the county pitching in together," Copelin said.