One Woman Makes a Difference

By Matt Porter

September 14, 2012 Updated Sep 14, 2012 at 6:36 PM EDT

Conklin, NY (WBNG Binghamton) For more than 35 years, 81 year-old Arlene Dubay has been travelling a 2-mile stretch on Route 7 in Conklin

"Come rain or snow, sunshine, wind, anything, any weather element," said Arlene, "It doesn't matter."

A former teacher, she rarely missed a day.

"I even cross country skied to school once.," she said.

Now retired, she still rides the road to Town Hall where she leads a senior exercise group.

But on the way, Arlene cleans up. Picking trash, and doing her own landscaping along the road.

"If everybody did a little bit," she said, "It would make it very easy for all of us."

And the great-grandmother said her work is catching on.

"It's like if you build it, they will come. I think if you start cleaning up they will too."

Arlene leads a new town beautification committee formed after the flood. It's mostly made up of seniors like her.

"When I walk my dog," said Sylvia Eckelberger, "I usually take a bag with me and clean up along the highway too."

Those who know Arlene, know it's hard to stop her.

"She has a very backbone and strong will," said Connie Barnhart, "And if she wants to get something done, she gets it done."

For Arlene, she said she's not doing anything special. And added if everyone does a little, that's a lot.

"Just try it. Get involved. Volunteer," she said, "Do something to help your community."

So next time you drive Route 7.

Think of Arlene, her 50 year-old bike, and her passion for her neighborhood