Tidyin’ up the town

Published 10:11 pm Monday, February 5, 2018

Suffolk Public Library and Keep Suffolk Beautiful have joined forces to host a “Meet up and Clean Up” event on Feb. 24.

Participants will have the opportunity to walk around one of two different routes in downtown Suffolk to pick up litter beginning at 10 a.m. that Saturday. If the crowds are large, then more routes will be added to cover as much of downtown as possible.

“We have a rough plan together, but it depends on the number of people that come,” Litter Control Coordinator Wayne Jones said. “Our rough idea is we are going to meet at Morgan Memorial Library and split into two groups. One group will make its way to Main Street from Market Street, and the other group will go to Jackson Street and head towards Main Street. We will hit all the side streets that way as well. We all come back down Main Street together and head to the library.”

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Public Works will provide everything necessary to have a successful day cleaning up the city. Participants will have litter grabbers, bags, vests and gloves at their disposal. The library will also provide drinks and snacks.

Those who wish to join in are advised to wear suitable clothing and footwear to the event. Angie Sumner from the library advises comfortable footwear and dressing in layers.

“Keep an eye on weather, because in Virginia it could be 60 degrees or 40 degrees,” Sumner said. “Make a smart decision.”

The event is going to last for three hours, and Sumner believes this is a good opportunity for teens to come out and earn some of their community service hours required for graduation by Suffolk Public Schools.

Having high school students join might also draw in their parents as well as other friends, making the event even larger, Sumner said.

These community events to clean up litter are beneficial to the city, Jones said.

“We picked up 40,000 pounds of trash last year through cleanups,” Jones said. “Obviously it’s bad for business, tourism and the houses. It also causes damage on wildlife and the environment.”