|Volunteers help to clean up community|
|Written by Hannah Tomlin, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Thursday, 16 April 2009 18:00|
Although it has been tradition for each of the Twin Cities to clean up its own community in the spring, Bloomington and Normal have decided to unite in a joint community cleanup effort for one week in April.
This year's Bloomington-Normal Community Cleanup Week will begin on Saturday, April 18 and continue until Saturday, April 25. Geoff Fruin, assistant to the city manager for the Town of Normal, said there were about 375 participants last year. This year, they are hoping to hit the 400 mark.
"We get everything from individuals to student groups, sororities, fraternities and businesses. We get quite a variety of participants, which is great to see," he said,
"It's a great way to kick off the spring. If it weren't for the volunteer members who participate, it would take the city staff quite a bit of time to clean it up," he added. "We certainly appreciate the volunteers, and hopefully the people who participate feel good about the work they are doing in the community."
Before Normal partnered with Bloomington for Community Cleanup Week, the Community Improvements Committee planned the town's cleanup efforts, which Normal has been participating in for the past 15 to 20 years, Fruin said.
In Bloomington, the Beautification Committee has sponsored cleanup activities. Stan Cain, chairman of the Beautification Committee for the city of Bloomington, said that the program was started back in the late 70's or early 80's.
"We've had very good participation rates over the past few years. The big variable is the weather. That's why we transitioned from a single day to an entire week. Overall, we get a lot of different service organizations and even individuals that sign up to participate," Cain said.
Noeli Anderson, vice president of Bloomington-Normal Sunset Rotary Club, participated with her group in the 2008 Community Cleanup Week. The rotary club plans to participate this year as well.
"We cleaned up a segment of the trail with my Rotary Group. Last year, we cleaned from Linden all the way to uptown Normal, but this year we are going to do from Grandview all the way to Linden. So we don't just clean the trail itself, but we use the shoulders and also go down in the little ravine to get all the papers that need to be picked up, " Anderson said.
"Most people who register early will request part of the trail. Other areas tend to be park sites. The other areas that we have available are mostly roadways, and the roadways tend to be less popular. If there are young children involved, we will steer them away from roadways," Fruin added.
Cain also said that there are a lot of registrations in advance, but people who want to clean up on their own are not excluded.
Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, realtors, student groups and homeowner associations are amongst the groups that usually clean their own neighborhood.