By Mike LaBella
---- — A good, old fashioned spring cleaning.
That’s what Haverhill needs, say city leaders who are rallying to get residents from across the community to pitch in for the effort.
The city’s annual Earth Day cleanup event is almost here, and this year’s focus is on neighborhoods.
The cleanup event will be on April 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Human Services Director Vincent Ouellette, who helps organize the annual citywide cleanup, said it’s an opportunity for everyone to get involved, including children.
“It teaches children to take care of their environment, and also lays a good foundation as to the importance of caring for your community and not littering,” he said.
“It’s been a long winter and usually there are volunteers who go out during the month of March to clean areas of the city,” Ouellette said. “But because of the snow cover on the ground, those areas weren’t able to be cleaned and it left us about a month behind. The more people who get involved in our Earth Day cleanup, the better.”
The city invites residents and others who want to help out to start their day with a kickoff event at 8:30 a.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., that will include remarks from the mayor. Participants can pick up T-shirts, trash bags and snacks.
The Citizens Center will serve as the registration and information center for the event. Trash bags, leaf bags and refreshments will be available for the duration of the event.
Volunteers can organize their own neighborhood or park cleanup or can join in another cleanup site identified by the city. All of the cleanup locations are on city property, which includes roadsides. Trash should be put into plastic trash bags, leaves and other yard waste should be put into leaf bags, branches should be stacked in piles, and sand should be swept into piles and left on the street for pick up by city workers.
Mayor James Fiorentini said this annual event gives everyone an opportunity to help make the city cleaner by working together to achieve a common goal.
“I want to thank all of the sponsors who support the event, as well as the residents who participate,” he said.
Volunteers and the city have been holding this annual event for at least 20 years. In addition to the city, major sponsors include Haverhill’s Brightside, the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, Haverhill Bank, Covanta, Magellan Aerospace, Spring Hill Natural Water, Cedar’s Mediterranean Food Inc., Starbucks, Heav’nly Donuts, and Haverhill Beef Company.
Volunteers are encouraged to register online at www.activityreg.com/selectactivity.wcs, which will bring you to the Haverhill Recreation page. Under “Register for Activities,” click on “programs” and look for “2014 City of Haverhill Earth Day Cleanup.” Follow the prompts to sign up to volunteer. More information is available from Dave LaBrode at 978-374-2388, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Earth day
When: April 26, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Kick off: 8:30 a.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St.
How to participate: Show up at the Citizens Center to register your cleanup location or be sent to a location picked out by organizers.