Clean sweep

Published 12:06 am Sunday, May 4, 2014

Multiple cleanups, beautification projects happen across county

If cleanliness is next to godliness then Lawrence County can borrow West Virginia’s slogan: “Almost Heaven.”

Several cleanups and beautification projects were underway simultaneously on Saturday and volunteer groups, students, business owners, church congregations and many others joined the effort.

Downtown Ironton underwent a combination cleanup and beautification.

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“It’s a great turnout as usual,” Rich Blankenship, Ironton mayor, said. “We have good weather to do this in and we appreciate the youth coming out and helping take care of our city. Other areas are doing it in town, like churches, and we appreciate everyone in the entire city for helping spruce it up. This event always makes our city look much better while we prepare for all these events coming up. And it’s a good opportunity to show the young people that this is what we need to do.”

The Lawrence County Young Professionals had two teams, one in Ironton and another in Proctorville. Joining LCYP in Ironton was St. Joe, Ironton, downtown business owners, Ironton aLive and Ironton In Bloom.

Ironton In Bloom’s Judy Saunders worked at the base of a tree on the corner of Third and Vernon streets pulling weeds and adding new brown mulch.

“I’m excited to see so many people out today and extremely happy to see so many young people,” she said. “One of the things Ironton In Bloom does is go into the schools and try to educate kids about how important it is to not litter. I think this is a much better lesson than just telling them. I think when they go out and have to pick it up and see it they realize that it’s not a good thing to do.”

New lilies were also added to the tree bases in downtown Ironton.

A youth-centered “Gateway to Community Pride” beautification project took place during the Quinn Chapel fish fry where youth could pick up for free a planter with seeds and create their own mini-garden for their front porch or yard.

“The goal was to give 40 planters away,” the Rev. James Stowe, pastor of Quinn Chapel, said. “We have four left and we’ll be here for another 45 minutes or so. We have met our expectations.”

Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital performed free health screenings at Quinn Chapel.

“We are having to trick the community into getting health screenings by offering fried fish,” Stowe said. “This is a beautification project and a community moment we can all get behind.”

Fish served at the fish fry is purchased by Quinn Chapel’s trustees and prepared by the church’s food committee. Stowe said the event has been well supported by the community.

The Gateway to Community Pride event will also take place on Saturday, May 10.

Other cleanups around the county included the Village of Coal Grove, the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District countywide cleanup, Perry Township, Elizabeth Township and Lawrence Township.