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The Bureau of Waste Management Dedicates Memorial for Colleague and Friend, Mike Texter

June 28, 2017 02:00 PM

The Bureau of Waste Management Dedicates Memorial for Colleague and Friend, Mike Texter


Mike.jpgIn Harrisburg, the Capital Area Greenbelt has a new spot for sitting along the Susquehanna River in Riverfront Park. With personal donations from DEP staff and members of the solid waste community, the Bureau of Waste Management dedicated a new bench and three dogwood trees in memory of Division Chief Michael “Mike” Texter. A recent dedication ceremony for the memorial was attended by DEP staff, including DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell, members of the solid waste and recycling community, and Mike’s family, including his wife Lisa and three sons.

Mike joined the Bureau in 2004 as a solid waste program specialist, and made invaluable contributions to environmental protection and the solid waste team until his sudden passing this April.

BWM-Memorial_2.jpg“Mike was always helpful and provided encouragement and adept guidance when I started with the department,” reflected Lisa Beatty. It was a sentiment shared by many of those in attendance. Larry Holley, another bureau division chief, expressed that “Mike was a tremendous friend and colleague. I depended on him; we all did.” Many coworkers made clear that his absence will leave a poignant void within the bureau and DEP.

Along with his service to the Commonwealth, Mike personally endeavored to keep Pennsylvania beautiful in his own time. He took daily walks in and around Harrisburg, taking every opportunity to pick up any litter that he encountered along his way. Mike regularly volunteered with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (KPB), and organized frequent litter clean-up events through the organization. Shannon Reiter, President of KPB, expressed, “Our organization is grateful for his leadership … and [his] support of our shared mission of empowering Pennsylvanians to keep our communities clean.” KPB donated the bench to the memorial in honor of Mike’s environmental stewardship efforts.

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​Mike did more than just collect litter. Secretary McDonnell recalled that Mike would record data on where he found litter, and report the places he thought a waste receptacle should be placed and cleanup efforts should be focused. “He epitomized ‘taking your work home’ in a good way. Not by taking papers and reports home to work on, but by bringing the attitude and values of DEP’s mission with him wherever he went,” said Walt Harner, Bureau of Waste Management Director.

“[Mike] treasured those he worked with, his coworkers and friends. [He] loves the beauty of this Earth and the sight of the dogwood trees, bench and the river will be enjoyed by many throughout the years. The memorial site is very fitting,” said Lisa Texter while thanking all those in attendance and who contributed to the memorial. In closing, Secretary McDonnell conveyed his hopes that, “Someone will sit at this bench to watch the river, notice a piece of litter, and feel compelled by an unseen influence to pick it up and bring it to a trash can.”

The bench and three dogwood trees are located across Front Street from the Pinnacle Health Harrisburg Hospital, south of the Cumberland Valley Railroad Bridge and just off of the Riverfront Park foot/bike path. 

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