86-year-old who created initiative to clean up Lebanon honored as Community Hero

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LEBANON, Ind. – An 86-year-old man took a simple idea and turned it into a city-wide effort that central Indiana can be proud of.

If you’ve taken a drive through Lebanon, you may have seen Jerry Erskine on his golf cart, cleaning up litter.

His passion to clean up the city started six years ago, when he took a trip to Bergen, Norway. There, he noticed everything was practically spotless.

Jerry was inspired and wanted his town to be like that, so he went to the mayor, then the Rotary Club and put a plan together for the Lebanon Cleanest City Initiative.

Jerry started with two drop-off sites for trash and litter. Now, there are more than 100 sites around the city.

“People and organizations can adopt a block or a few miles and they make sure that area of the city is always clean and free of litter,” said Jerry.

Officials say Jerry's cleanest city passion is catching on so much that the department is making more runs than ever to pick up receptacles filled by volunteers.

To honor Jerry’s passion and selflessness, FOX59 and Community Health have named him as the Community Hero of February.

If you know someone who should be named a Community Hero, submit their story here.