Megan Alley – News Democrat
Spring is here, and with it comes the time honored tradition of spring cleaning – all are invited to participate in this year’s Spring Litter Clean-Up on April 23.
The environmental clean-up, which will take place the day after Earth Day, is coordinated by the East Fork Watershed Collaborative and the Valley View Foundation.
It’s an all-volunteer effort to enhance local communities and the East Fork Little Miami River watershed, according to a press release. Volunteers, some using canoes, will collect litter on river and stream banks and in local streets and parks.
The event is sponsored by the Southern Ohio Association of Realtors and the Clermont County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Clean-up sites are located in East Fork State Park, Stonelick State Park, Amelia, Bethel, Miami Township, Milford, New Richmond, Owensville, Williamsburg, Pierce Township and Felicity.
Travis Dotson, administrator for the village of Bethel, said the event, which usually has a good turnout depending on weather, is a great benefit to the community.
“On good years, we have gathered up to 100 garbage bags of litter and junk,” he said in an email.
Last year, volunteers from the Spring Litter Clean-Up removed a total of five tons of trash from 13 sites across the East Fork watershed and county, including eight miles of riverbank and lake shoreline, according to a press release.
This is the third year the CVB has sponsored the event.
“We’re involved because in order for the Cincinnati east region and Clermont County to continue attracting outdoor sporting events, and to continue this economic development we’re doing, it’s important that we keep our recreation and outdoor activity spaces attractive,” said Mark Calitri, president of the CVB.
The community’s response to the event has been tremendous, according to Calitri.
“I’ve seen people at the lake cleaning up from all walks of life. We had boy scouts, church groups and families,” he said, adding, “I took my 9-year-old daughter and it was a great father-daughter day that we enjoyed together. It wasn’t like work, it was more like fun; we had a fun day together.”
New Richmond Administrator Greg Roberts said the work the volunteers do during the event is very much appreciated.
“They do a nice job,” he added. “It’s wonderful that we have people volunteer their time to keep New Richmond cleaner.”
In addition to cleaning up the outdoors, the event provides youth with valuable life lessons, according to Calitri.
“It helps to instill a good work ethic and teaches kids to respect the environment,” he said. “You’re less likely to litter if you’re picking it up.”
All sites will host a free picnic lunch beginning at noon. Volunteers will also get a free “Let’s Fight Dirty” T-shirt, designed by Karley Wrigglesworth, a fourth-grader at New Richmond Elementary.
For more information about this year’s Spring Litter Clean-Up and for directions on how to register for a local event, visit www.springlittercleanup.com.