I'm going to provide all of the details here so that anyone trying to plan a similar event in their neighborhood can use our cleanup as a template or example. There are many ways that our cleanup could be improved upon but I feel as though, in our second year, we are making a pretty strong effort.
The cleanup was held on Saturday, April 25th, 2015. Our neighborhood cleanup was registered with Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania, which is an offshoot of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. Once registered, any event was eligible for supplies (garbage bags, gloves, and safety vests) from Penn Dot. We simply called the Penn Dot office on upper Peach Street and they set supplies aside for us.
This year, The United Way of Erie County stepped in to supply additional bags, gloves, and vests, as well as a free Erie Seawolves ticket voucher for every volunteer. Most importantly, the United Way organized an online registration system for volunteers who wanted to join the cleanup effort. This led directly to over 30 new participants.
For our cleanup, we decided to have a "kick-off" event at 9 am. This was a good way to get everyone in the neighborhood together and build a feeling of camaraderie. We had coffee and water available for all of the volunteers.
We also had a drop off point for all of the garbage bags. This gave everyone a meeting point for after the effort.
All told we picked up over 25 bags of garbage and debris, and 8 plastic sandwich bags of cigarette butts.
We have many people and organizations to thank: Erie Homes for Children and Adults, United Way of Erie County, Penn Dot, Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy's Green Team and National Honor Society, the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity at Gannon University, and of course The Secret Squirrel at 3025 French Street, which was the site of our launch ceremony.
We should also thank the Tom Ridge Environmental Center for accepting our bags of cigarette butts. The butts are being sent to a recycling center.
|THANK YOU! Doreen Petri and the Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate |
Academy Green Team. They kicked off the cleanup by taking their
message about cigarette butts to 38th Street.
|THANK YOU! Zeta Beta Tau fraternity from Gannon University.|
|THANK YOU! To all of our good friends at Erie Homes for Children and Adults.|
|THANK YOU! EHCA for taking part. The teams from Erie Homes for Children and Adults worked to pickup trash along E. 27th Street.|
|THANK YOU! Another group of kids from Collegiate Academy; members of the National Honor Society.|
|THANK YOU! Over half a dozen families from our neighborhood volunteered their time.|