Residents called on to join town’s yearly clean-up effort
BERLIN– In the spirit of Earth Day, the town of Berlin is asking residents to help clean up the streets.
Berlin will host its annual Clean-Up Day on Saturday, April 26. The event is part of Take Pride in Berlin Week, which runs April 19-26.
“The parks division has held the Clean-Up Day in the parks during the week of Earth Day for lots of years,” said Deputy Town Administrator Mary Bohlen. “At one point with environmental initiatives being put out by Grow Berlin Green, which doesn’t even exist anymore, we decided to turn it into a whole week devoted into people just looking around their town or neighborhood, taking pride in Berlin and doing what they can for their community.”
Residents are asked to scan their property and neighborhoods throughout the week in order to find areas that could use cleaning, and are encouraged to “think outside the box” when coming up with potential projects.
Participants can sign up online at www.berlinmd.gov or in person at either Dr. William Henry Park on Flower Street or Stephen Decatur Park on Route 113 and Tripoli Street beginning at 8:30 a.m. Clean-Up Day runs until noon.
Volunteer turnout for Clean-Up Day has been steadily increasing since the event’s inception, generally drawing more than 100 participants. Bohlen believes the recent “America’s Coolest Small Town” distinction can only help boost those numbers.
“This community has always had a really good volunteer turnout,” she said. “People really do turn out a lot for events that serve others. Last year was a little bit down, but it was kind of a rainy, dreary day.
“We are always encouraging people to try to do more volunteer, neighborhood, community-type work all around, and I think every year it gets a little bit stronger. This year people have certainly taken more notice of what a great small town they do live in,” she said.
Past Clean-Up Day projects have included work on the flowerbeds in the downtown area as well as weeding, raking and general maintenance. One of this year’s key projects is the painting of the new Stephen Decatur Park mural. The existing mural, painted in 1992, will be replaced by a design chosen during a Worcester County Arts Council contest in March. The project is supported by a Community Arts Development grant provided by the Arts Council.
“We hope people gain a sense of community from activities like this, and not just look at the place they live as a place to rest their heads at the end of a workday, but really more of a place to enjoy and participate in and really have a life.” Bohlen said. “We suggest that if you’re going to do work around your neighborhood to make sure that it’s okay with anyone if they’re going on someone else’s property. Otherwise we’re just advising people to be safe and be careful. And if anyone has a question about a project they’d like to undertake, or even plan to do on a day other than Clean-Up Day, they can contact me.”
For more information call 410-641-4314, visit www.berlinmd.gov or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.