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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Hero of the Month

RRRHeroJune.jpgThis month we would like to celebrate one of our own!  Mark Hunsaker, a Vietnam War veteran and Arizona native, has been a Town employee for the past 17 years.  Mark and his wife, who he met while they were employed by GM as high-speed run test car drivers, are parents to six children, 16 grandchildren and foster parents to many others.

In keeping with Mark’s generous nature, he volunteered himself and several of his children to participate in the planting of “Sustainability Gardens” for residents of the Gila/Pima Indian Reservation.    Now three years later, Mark (with occasional assistance from his children and grandchildren) continues to donate up to 30 hours each week, assisting Gila/Pima Indian Reservation residents to plant and maintain sustainability gardens.

Seeds that are donated from local nurseries are planted and nurtured to maturity in five greenhouses located on the reservation.  Mark works with local Gila/Pima resident Sonny Backwater and others who tend to the tomato, pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, melon and bean seedlings until they are hearty enough to be transplanted to the gardens.  From there, Mark may be called upon to do anything from building fencing and preparing the land for planting, to installing complete irrigation drip systems. Mark works closely with the residents, teaching them along the way so that they are not only able to maintain their new gardens but also able to assist neighbors in building their own.

Mark is a real hero to his fellow employees. He is our go-to guy, the man to get things done. One of his duties at the Town of Gilbert is to educate residents on how to compost.  After educating them, he and other Environmental Services staff deliver compost bins free of charge to residents for home use. Mark is a true steward of our environment and we are proud to claim his as not only an active member of the Gilbert community but also as an employee of the Town.  For Mark’s passion for environmental sustainability and commitment to help others, we salute him as our June RRR Hero of the Month.

If you would like information on how to participate in the “Sustainability Garden” project, you may contact Mark at  480-229-0921.

If you know someone who you feel should be recognized for as an RRR Hero, please e-mail us at recycle@gilbertaz.gov or give us a call directly at 480-503-6459.

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