Groups to participate in City’s annual spring cleaning of parks, trails, playgrounds, streets, riverbanks

I would like to invite neighborhood associations, businesses, faith-based organizations and other volunteer groups can now register for the City of Fort Wayne’s annual spring clean-up on May 15. The registration form is available

The City is taking part in the national Great American Cleanup program, part of Keep America Beautiful. With the national tagline of “Green Starts Here, volunteers of all ages will focus on cleaning up litter and debris from the City’s parks, roadways, trails and riverbanks. The City will provide groups with garbage bags, gloves and t-shirts.

Like this year’s theme of “Green Starts Here,” Fort Wayne’s Great American Cleanup starts with volunteers like you who give just a few hours of time to make a noticeable difference in our community. In 2009, we had more than 4,000 volunteers who collected almost 200,000 pounds of litter and debris, and I am confident we can have that many people or more from neighborhoods, schools, companies and other organizations to make Fort Wayne look its best for the beginning of summer.

A post-cleanup party for volunteers with food, music and raffle prizes will be 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 15 at Headwaters Park East.

For more information, people can call the City’s Solid Waste office at 427-1345. Registrations are due by April 9.

The Great American Cleanup is the country’s largest beautification and community improvement project. It provides a high-profile platform for activities that meet specific local needs, including litter cleanups, litter prevention education, graffiti removal, beautification and community improvement projects, river cleanups, etc. Almost 3 million volunteers nationwide are expected to participate in the 2010 event.

In 2009, more than 4,200 people participated in Fort Wayne’s event with 12,600 volunteer hours donated. They picked up more than 193,360 pounds of litter and debris. They cleaned 42 miles of roadways, 1,300 acres of parks, 15 miles of trails and 19 miles of riverbanks, plus 3 acres of wetlands and 5 illegal dumpsites. The City collected 500 pounds of aluminum and steel and 575 tires for recycling. During the cleanup, 30 graffiti sites were removed or abated.

The City has hosted the local Great American Cleanup for about 20 years.

The National Sponsors of the 2010 Great American Cleanup are: The Dow Chemical Co.; The Glad Products Co.; Nestlé Pure Life Purified Water; o.b. tampons; Pepsi-Cola Co.; The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company; Solo Cup Co.; Troy-Bilt Lawn and Garden Equipment; Waste Management, Inc.; Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.; and Educational Partner: Rubber Manufacturers Association.

Tom Henry - Fort Wayne Mayor

A lifelong Fort Wayne resident, Mayor Thomas C. Henry is committed to public and community service. He was elected to his first term as Fort Wayne's Mayor November 6, 2007. Mayor Henry authors the "Message from the Mayor" column. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer