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Volunteers sought for community-wide cleanup on April 16

Date: 4/12/2011

April 13, 2011

By Debbie Gardner

Assistant Editor

WEST SPRINGFIELD — The Earth Day Committee is inviting everyone to make time for a little community spring-cleaning this weekend.

On April 16 the committee, in conjunction with the West Springfield Rotary Club, Lion's Club, Department of Public Works (DPW) and Parks and Recreation Department, will sponsor "Clean Up West Springfield," targeting 17 sites throughout the city in need of a little TLC.

Volunteers are asked to gather at the Rotary Pavilion in Mittineague Park, 100 Churchill Road, beginning at 8 a.m. to register and enjoy coffee, doughnuts and juice, courtesy of the Lion's Club. Teams will head out to assignments beginning at 9 a.m. and will return to the park for hot dogs and hamburgers, again sponsored by the Lions, from noon to 1 p.m.

Earth Day Committee spokesperson Diane Crowell said she and Michael Pattavina, Solid Waste Management coordinator for the DPW toured the city last week and identified the areas to be cleaned up. Some sites are primarily trash, she said, and others include heavier debris. The DPW will be providing pickup service for trash collected at the identified sites.

"When people come to register they can pick a site, or we'll assign them," Crowell said. "Some sites will need about three people, some will need about eight or nine."

Rotary spokesperson Marco Amato said about 40 residents had already volunteered, but there would be work for many more.

"We have a Cub Scout group, the Birch Park Circle group, Diane's normal group of people and some church groups," he said.

Amato added that he met Crowell several years ago when she approached the Rotary for a grant to help fund one of her annual cleanups in the Merrick and Bear Hole areas of town.

"It makes a difference when people come out and clean up," Crowell said of her 10-year campaign to spruce up her corner of West Side.

Amato said the Rotary was glad to get involved in a town wide effort this year, and has plans to keep the cleanup going all year long.

He said the Rotary plans to have a booth at the Taste of the Valley in June where they will be telling people how they can get T-shirts for collecting trash around town.

"What we'd love is to have people wanting these T-shirts," he said.

Amato said the Rotary is also planning some friendly competition with the clubs in other local cities and towns to see which one can have the cleanest community by year's end.

"If this was going to be a one-day event I wouldn't be so excited, but this is going to be an ongoing project," he said.

For more information on the April16 town-wide cleanup kickoff, e-mail Crowell at

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