Organize a Community Green-Up Day

Spring cleaning -- indoors and out -- is a ritual that marks the end of winter and the beginning of a new season, and like many activities, it's more fun when you share it. Your street, neighborhood, town park, and any other public space could use some greening up; it just takes someone to organize a community-wide event. You could focus on picking up trash, or expand the idea to include raking leaves. Here are some suggestions for getting a Green Up Day off the ground.

Planning

  1. 1. Talk to local garden clubs, conservation boards, and any other community groups about the idea. Brainstorm ways to make it happen, and form a steering committee to handle the logistics. Designate a weekend day as the official Green Up Day.
  2. Talk it up, and begin gathering names of people willing to communicate with their neighbors about it.
  3. Get your local solid waste district on board. Ask them to donate trash bags and pick up the full bags from roadsides. As an alternative, ask local supermarkets to donate the bags, and enlist volunteers with trucks to pick them up.
  4. Talk to your local school principals about getting the word out in schools. Students could earn community service credits by participating.

Promoting

  1. Get articles in local newspapers and on the radio. Make up posters to place around town.
  2. Neighborhood organizers can contact neighbors to invite their involvement. Someone could offer to host a potluck picnic at the end of Green Up Day.
  3. Ask people to take photos on Green Up Day that can be run in local newspapers after the event to generate enthusiasm for next year.

Event Logistics

  1. The neighborhood organizers pick up trash bags for their neighborhoods and disseminate them before Green Up Day.
  2. Neighborhood organizers assign families or groups of neighbors to specific sections of the roadsides or of public green spaces to Green Up.
  3. Everyone places full trash bags on roadsides for pick up by the solid waste district or the pickup volunteers.

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