Planning is under way for the third annual community cleanup on Ward 3 and organizers, which include the two city aldermen who represent the ward, are encouraging the residents and businesses there to come out in force.
As they have done for the past two years, aldermen Willie McGhee and Kensel Spivey are again teaming up with Clean Harbors to organize the cleanup.
Spivey clarified information that recently appeared in the News-Times, saying that a date for the 2018 cleanup has not yet been solidified.
The News-Times reported on Feb. 21 that the event had been set for April 14 and Spivey said the date is one of two options that has been proposed.
“We’re still waiting to confirm the actual date. We’re leaning toward March 24. That’s spring break and we’re looking for various people to volunteer,” Spivey said.
Though the date for the cleanup is still under discussion, the time has been set for 8 a.m. until noon, with lunch to immediately follow at Mattocks Park.
Spivey said the cleanup will stick to the same
format as 2016 and 2017. Checkpoints will be set up throughout the Third Ward, with street captains manning each checkpoint. Details are forthcoming about the location of the checkpoints.
Volunteers will be asked to gather at the checkpoints to be briefed on the day’s activities and receive assignments for the streets they will clean. Supplies will also be provided at the checkpoints.
Spivey said 150 - 200 volunteers turned out for the 2017 cleanup and organizers are hoping for bigger numbers this year.
During a recent Keep El Dorado Beautiful meeting, members said area youth represented the largest demographic of volunteers.
“We had a lot of (Amateur Athletic Union) teams and baseball teams and we’ve already had some teams commit to participating this year as well,” Spivey said.
Spivey and McGhee are asking Ward 3 residents to serve as street captains to help coordinate activities and assign teams to the various streets to be cleaned.
KEB has agreed to man one of the checkpoints.
Members noted that the cleanup aligns with KEB’s mission of raising awareness about and helping the community to become stewards of litter prevention, recycling and beautification in El Dorado.
While discussing plans for the Ward 3 cleanup during a KEB meeting on Feb. 19, Roblee proposed that Clean Harbors offer financial incentives for groups to organize community cleanups in other wards this year.
Roblee said Clean Harbors has committed $3,000 toward the effort, explaining that the money could be divvied up and donated to volunteers, such as youth athletic teams and church groups.
KEB members said they will solicit representatives in each ward to lead the effort and organize a cleanup in each of the city’s four wards for each quarter of the year.
Ward 3 will be the first and Ward 4 alderwomen Mary McAdams and Dianne Hammond, both of whom are members of KEB, volunteered their ward to host the second-quarter cleanup.
To avoid the summer heat, KEB members said two cleanups will be organized in the spring and two in the fall.
The group is also contemplating a citywide cleanup to be held in conjunction with the Great American Cleanup, which is hosted from March 1 - May 31 each year by Keep America Beautiful, a parent organization of KEB.
For more information about the Ward 3 cleanup, call Spivey at 870-918-7674, McGhee at 870-314-1441 or Tony Henry, former Ward 3 alderman and Clean Harbors employee, at 870-866-7630.
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.