Volunteers give city clean sweep

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 16, 2000

Volunteers turned out by the dozens Saturday morning to make a clean sweep of city streets.

Sunday, April 16, 2000

Volunteers turned out by the dozens Saturday morning to make a clean sweep of city streets.

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The first-ever Ironton cleanup day started at 9 a.m. as business teams, sorority members, Operation: Be Proud volunteers and many other citizens picked up litter, mulched flower boxes and planted 120 daylilies and other flowers from the city limits to downtown.

"We’ve had a good turnout," former city councilman and cleanup day organizer Randy Lilly said. "It shows everybody cares and it raises pride and spirit in the community."

The day also coincided with the City of Ironton’s annual cleanup efforts, although the two are not directly related. The citywide cleanup begins Monday.

Margaret Landrum, one of a dozen cleanup volunteers from Scherer-Mountain Insurance’s office crew, said she was happy to help Saturday as she swept the sidewalk along Third Street.

"We’re trying to clean up Ironton," Mrs. Landrum said. "This is to try to entice business and customers to the downtown area."

City jobs depend on the perception customers, visitors and even interested developers have about Ironton, she said.

"We want to bring business into Ironton so they won’t go someplace else," Mrs. Landrum said.

But the cleanup day is also about pride, she added.

"You read letters in the paper about the city needing cleaned up, and it kind of makes you feel bad. This is home, so we want to try to clean it up."’

Nearby, Boy Scout Troop 106 spread cedar mulch in street planter boxes.

"It’s been so long since this has been done and it needed to be done again," scout Casey Compston said, adding the troop adopted the Saturday cleanup as a service project, too.

"But I like helping and even if I wasn’t a Boy Scout, I’d help out," Josh Riedel said. "It’s the right thing to do."

Rich Mountain couldn’t agree more.

"It doesn’t take a heck of a lot of effort and I’d like to see more people do this more times a year," Mountain said, digging in a flower box across the street.

Almost every resident in Ironton takes care of their homes in the same way, so why not pitch in for the whole town, he said.

Lilly said that sense of community is one of the results he wanted to see from the cleanup day effort.

"Part of the intent is to get people thinking of themselves as part of the community, especially by getting the kids involved," he said. "And maybe people will be a little less apt to throw trash out now."

Earlier, many of those community members made donations – about $2,000 total – to help the city distribute mulch and the daylilies.

And the response for specific projects was encouraging, Lilly said.

Several groups helped landscape around the Ironton signs at the city limits. Volunteers picked up trash at Moulton’s Field. Churches pitched in with their own cleanup and landscape work. Little League players helped clean. The Ironton Co-Operative Club and others planted flowers in the fountain area. Quinn Chapel AME Church and the OBP prepared planting barrels, which will be planted later. And a crew at Beechwood Park painted playground equipment.

Yet, those projects were only some of the few, Lilly said.

Many others contributed and the help is appreciated, he said.

"It’s a lot of little projects but every little bit helps," he added. "This will look good once the lilies bloom."