An advertising class at Mary Baldwin University is working closely with Augusta County’s Commonwealth Attorney Tim Martin (pictured above) on an initiative that combats both crime and litter.

Bruce Dorries

Martin is working in conjunction with the Blue Ridge Court Service (BRCS) to utilize labor of people who are convicted of minor offenses, to reduce litter and pollution across the county.

Work crews from the local jail already collect litter around the area. However, Martin has joined with the BRCS to provide additional crews.

Convictions of minor crimes often lead to mandated community service, and while there are more than 40 different agencies around the area that offer service opportunities, they don’t always have a need for help. However, litter is always an issue; Martin is looking to change that.

Associate Professor of Communication Bruce Dorries’ class will pitch ad campaigns to Martin for the anti-litter project, and use the experience to complete their final project for the semester.

The students will be broken up into groups, serving as advertising professionals, and design a campaign for Martin that will not only encourage pedestrians to not litter, but also show future perpetrators that there is no reward in breaking the law. Martin may consider implementing their designs on billboards and signs across the county if the funding is available.

“This is a quintessential example of a grass roots advertising campaign,” Dorries said. “With little to no funding to get this endeavor off the ground it is up to the students to launch a proposal that the Staunton community will want to get involved in.”