Illegal Dumpers Ruining One Family's East Texas Legacy - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/12/05-Van Zandt County

Illegal Dumpers Ruining One Family's East Texas Legacy

East Texas is at its most beautiful this time of year, with trees and flowers blooming.   And Nell Shaw loves the take a stroll on land that's been in her family for more than a hundred years. 

But what has happened in the country near Ben Wheeler in Van Zandt County makes her angry and sad.

"This is where I played as a child, and it's been in the family more than 100 years," she says.

The spring beauty of Nell's land is breathtaking. 

"I grew up here, and it's very special, and I get emotional when I see what people have done to it."

For several years, she hasn't known what to do to stop them. She's posted signs, and has looked at installing a gate. But now the mountain is enormous.

"There's a mattress and box spring, a pet carrier, grocery bags, and dirty disposable diapers," she says.

Everything that might leak from the dumpsite flows down to a spring fed creek not far away

No one's been caught, yet.

"I've seen one person in the hay meadow but they left before they'd stop and talk to me," says neighbor Heather Halliburton.

Nell wants to retire here, but not until the land is back to the way it was during the years she was growing up -- when her parents taught her respect for the land.

"It just really makes me sad to see it like this. [My parents] would have been disappointed. Daddy worked to keep it nice," she says.

Now she wants those responsible caught, and forced to clean it up. 

After seeing our reports on the prosecution of illegal dumpers, Nell says she's going to call authorities to see what can be done.

Reported by Morgan Palmer.

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