Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1172150

Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 28, 2014

Annual clean up enters sixth year

By David Hotle | Apr 24, 2014
Joe McConnell, left, and Craig Davis dress in overalls and grey beards to promote the annual cleanup on the square this Saturday. The two say they enjoy dressing up before the event to show the fun people have while participating.

It was six years ago when area attorneys Joe McConnell and Craig Davis began the yearly push to clean several problem areas of Washington, including around the square. This Saturday, with the 175th anniversary of Washington coming quickly, the tradition continues.
McConnell and Davis are inviting concerned citizens who wish to help improve Washington’s looks to come out to the bandshell in Central Park Saturday at 8 a.m. The event is scheduled to last two hours, during which time crews will remove waste from several different areas around town. This year, instead of placing the pile of collected trash on the square for pickup, the drop off site will be at the former Perdock parking lot on South B Avenue. Davis said that the city had asked if the drop off point could be moved from the square this year.
“We are hoping for a good group of volunteers to come out, clean up the downtown and get ready for the 175th celebration,” Davis said.
Volunteers are asked to bring shovels, rakes, brooms, and dust pans. A good set of gloves is a must, McConnell said. He said that garbage bags will be provided, as well as coffee and doughnuts.
“Anyone who has a pickup can bring that,” McConnell said. “Pickups are handy to have during the cleanup and we encourage them to bring those.”
The idea for the cleanup was due to a letter to the editor from Susan See that ran in the March 9, 2009 edition of The Washington Evening Journal, in which she issued a challenge to Washingtonians to clean up trash. McConnell and Davis decided to take See up on her challenge. The first clean up  was held that year.
“I was just complaining and Craig Davis and Joe McConnell turned my whining into something more positive,” See said with a chuckle.
While See had to miss one year, she has been at all the others, and plans to attend the cleanup this year. She encourages others to attend. She also said that if someone can’t make it, they can walk down their own street with a trash bag and collect trash from their own neighborhoods.
“It is a fun time, it is not to strenuous and it is amazing what is found in the downtown area, particularly the alleys,” McConnell said. “It is always a big surprise, there are some things there that shouldn’t be there.”

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