For 22 years — Saturday will mark the 23rd — Bob Harris has led a cleanup of Hamilton’s Second and Fourth wards, in an effort to keep ahead of garbage in the two neighborhoods.
This year’s effort will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We’re asking for volunteers from the Second Ward and the Fourth Ward, and anybody who just wants to do some volunteer work,” said Harris. He said the meet-up location will be Bailey Square, at Second Street, between Walnut and Chestnut streets.
“We’re furnishing the gloves, bags, lunch and the T-shirts to the first 100,” who show up, Harris said.
Those with pickup trucks are invited to bring those.
“Already, I’ve knocked on every door in the Second Ward and given them a flier,” Harris said on Monday. “ I’ll be knocking on doors all week long — I want to get people involved, I want them to get rid of their trash, and I would like for them to clean up around their dwellings, and I would like the businesses to clean up, also.”
People can leave their refuse where they usually put their trash for regular pickups.
“We did a similar cleanup in the area last year and collected nearly 50 tons of garbage,” said Aaron Hufford, a senior analyst in the city manager’s office.
“The cleanup provides a cleaner neighborhood and greater neighborhood pride,” Hufford said. “A litter-free neighborhood is not only more visually appealing, it’s a strong signal of a community that cares.”
“Additionally,” Hufford said, “by working with our neighbors and developing relationships, we build greater neighborhood engagement and a healthier community.”
Earlier in the day, a woman asked him, “Am I working Saturday?”
Sure, he told her.
She replied: “I’ve got a truck, so I can put some people on a truck and go to work.”
“The hope is to clean up the community so that we accent Hamilton and the development that we’re doing on the river, Spooky Nook (Sports at Champion Mill indoor athletic facility), and we’re cleaning the community up, so it can be user-friendly,” Harris said.
The elderly or disabled who need pickups can call Harris at 513-578-504o. If you don’t reach him, leave a message, he said.
Public Works Director Jim Williams said already this year, the city has helped with cleanups in Rossville and Lindenwald, as well as by the Hamilton Conservation Corps at the Riverside Natural Area. Sponsors for Saturday’s event are First Financial Bank, United Way, the Hamilton Community Foundation and the city.
“We need everybody to help,” Harris said. “It doesn’t matter if they give one hour, two hours, six hours, eight hours. We appreciate all the help that we can get.”
“People helping people,” he added. “We want to build community in the community.”