It's time for spring cleaning.
Not the kind that involves removing little-used items from your garage or giving the lawn a good raking to prepare for grass seed.
This cleanup involves the entire city — parks, sidewalks, back roads, land along waterways.
Volunteers for Haverhill's annual Earth Day Clean Up will meet Saturday, April 21, at the Citizens Center on Welcome Street to prepare for the event. It runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
"Contact us so we can assign you to a cleanup site. Organize your own neighborhood or park cleanup and let us know, or come to the Citizens Center and we'll assign you to a place in need of some TLC," said Vincent Ouellette, the city's director of human services.
The Citizens Center will serve as the registration and information center for the event. Volunteers who want to pre-register online are asked to go to http://haverhillearthdaycleanup.eventbrite.com.
Volunteers are encouraged to call 978-374-2388, ext., 28 or email email@example.com for more information.
Participants are asked to bring their own equipment. Organizers will provide gloves, tools, trash bags and leaf bags, but ask volunteers to provide as much equipment as they can. Refreshments will be available for the duration of the event.
"The Earth Day event allows people who live here to show that they care about the condition of Haverhill," said Doug Edison, president of the Brightside civic organization.
The cleanup is sponsored by the city, the Brightside organization, the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, Haverhill Bank, Covanta, Magellan Aerospace, Shoe City Hardware, Spring Hill Natural Water, Starbucks, Sweet Things Bakery-Café©, The Tap, Team Haverhill, Haverhill Beef Company and Cedar's Mediterranean Foods, Inc.
"Through a combination of public, private and volunteer help, the city's cleanup has grown and become better organized,'' said David Labrode, Team Haverhill's organizer for the event. "This year we implemented an online registration process that will help us better organize the event."
After volunteers pick up their snacks, T-shirts and equipment and hear a few brief remarks from the mayor, they will join site crews to begin their work at 9 a.m.
Trash and waste materials collected will 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.
"We are also targeting the new residents of the three major new developments downtown to come out and clean up some of the areas in and around their locations,'' LaBrode said. "Maybe someday we won't have to have annual cleanups, but until such time it is great that so many people care enough to come out and give us a hand in making Haverhill a more attractive place to live."
As in the past, residents can organize their own neighborhood or park cleanup. Anyone who wants to volunteer can join any of the other cleanup sites. All of the cleanup locations are on public property.
"Volunteers of all ages come out to help beautify the city,'' Ouellette said. "Whether it is a back road, park, lake or a neighborhood street, people feel the need to help take care of their city, favorite spot or their own neighborhood. It truly is remarkable the effort that the volunteers put in year after year.''