Volunteers kick off Great American Cleanup
By ED RUNYAN
Seven children from Eagle’s Christian Preschool and Daycare on North Park Avenue and the school’s administrator joined the staff of the Geauga Trumbull Solid Waste District and several county and city employees Monday to kick off the Great American Cleanup.
The kids and others picked up trash along Veterans Memorial Riverwalk and near the log cabin and Trumbull County Veterans Memorial across from Courthouse Square.
But 1,700 volunteers on 28 teams have committed to cleaning up other areas in the county over the coming month as part of the cleanup, now in its 28th year.
The kickoff was planned to coincide with Earth Day, said Holly Carine, community outreach coordinator for the solid-waste-management district, which carries out recycling and other waste-management work in the two counties.
The 28 groups include one of about 200 people that already cleaned up Mosquito Lake State Park last Saturday and 70 members of Girl Scouts Service Unit 807 who will clean up Howland Township Park on Saturday.
Saturday is one of the biggest days for the cleanup, with groups from Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, Liberty Township, the Rotary Club of Champion, Historic Perkins Homestead Neighborhood Association and Kenmore Neighborhood Association cleaning up that day.
It’s also not too late for other groups to contact the solid-waste-management district to sign up, Carine said. An application is available on the district’s website: www.gottagogreen.org.
Among the benefits of participating in the Great American Cleanup is getting free stuff to use for the event – gloves; trash bags; clear bags for recycling of items, such as aluminum cans; and “litter grabbers.” The district also gives out participation gifts, such as flower seeds, to use at home.
The children from Eagle’s Christian Preschool and Daycare, who had a vacation day from school Monday, gave good reasons why cleaning up the environment is important.
“We need to keep the Earth strong. If we don’t have the Earth, we wouldn’t have a beautiful life like we have,” said Jayla Richardson, 7.
“If you don’t pick up trash and some dogs come over here and they are homeless, and they eat it, they will die,” Amaris James, 7, said after filling up the bottom of her garbage bag with trash.
“I think it’s important to keep our Earth clean because if we don’t, we will have a filthy world,” said Dontez Beard, 10.
Fellows Riverside Gardens at Mill Creek MetroParks in Youngstown marked Earth Day with the planting of Ohio’s state tree, the buckeye.
“We’re excited, because this is the second one planted in the gardens’ history,” said Andrew Pratt, gardens’ director.
The first was planted about 1970, but it has since died.
Buckeye trees are bottomland species that thrive in habitually wet areas, Pratt explained.
“We try to promote the planting of native species at home and here at the gardens. There are a lot of underutilized native plants we try to bring exposure at the gardens,” Pratt added.
The new tree can be found in the center of the gardens past the gazebo.