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  • Writer's pictureThe Hammonton Gazette

MainStreet holds Downtown Clean Up

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer McGraw Many gathered downtown on May 4 to help with the Annual Clean Up and Flower Planting.

HAMMONTON—It’s been more than a week since Earth Day, and Hammonton’s community was still in the spirit for going green.

MainStreet Hammonton went green for their annual Downtown Hammonton Clean Up and Flower Planting on May 4. Hammonton residents lined the Historic Train Station at 9 a.m. to get assigned to their duties: flower planting or trash clean up.

Sponsored by Flowers Cleaning Services, volunteers were given trash grabbers and planting equipment to spruce up downtown Hammonton. Students were also able to be provided with service hours for the work.

Besides the motivation to make their town cleaner, Hammonton volunteers walked away with a sense of pride knowing their efforts made an immediate impact.

MainStreet Hammonton Executive Director Mica McCullough expressed excitement for the continued success of this event.

“From what I understand it began as a cleanup. So picking up trash was a way for the community to get involved and volunteer their time and have a really visible impact at the end of the day,” McCullough said. “And so it was really an attempt to beautify the town to pick up trash.”

Along Bellevue Avenue, volunteers took on picking up trash or planting flowers. The group spread out throughout downtown to make their town as spotless as possible before more fun events in the spring and summer.

“The timing of the event has always been in mid spring, because we do so many events in late spring.” McCullough said. “So it started as a cleanup. Now it’s a cleanup and flower planting. And, again, just to beautify the town to make things look really nice before we get thousands of people here for Cruisin’ MainStreet, our Thursday series and the Food Truck Festival.”

Besides Flowers Cleaning Services chipping in to help this clean up, Elite Landscaping took on weeding and drilling holes for bulbs. Tabernacle Schools donated the bulbs and Atlantic County Utilities Authority donated supplies. The Town of Hammonton Public Works and Landscaping Team helped with the town beautification as well.

When you put your own town volunteers in charge of cleaning up the town, it creates a ripple effect to help others in the town become more environmentally conscious.

“I think what it also does is motivates people to pick up litter when they see it, even outside of a cleanup event. So maybe this event will inspire our families to go get grabbers of their own, and adopt a road and go out once a month and pick up trash, and just to kind of beautify their little section of the community.” McCullough said.

Though this event is fun, in an ideal world, McCullough would hope for no “cleanup” event.

“If the community is just clean, then you don’t have to have a cleanup and that would be really wonderful. If this event wasn’t needed, just because people were cleaning the community up on their own.” McCullough said.

And if it wasn’t obvious, McCullough loves the volunteer participation for events like this.

“My favorite part about this organization, and this program is the volunteers. None of this is possible without the volunteers who come to an event like this. So I really think that that is who deserves the gold star, the people who just keep showing up and they keep volunteering their time and they volunteer their money,” McCullough said.

After the work was complete, extras from the clean up were donated to Veterans Haven South, a New Jersey State-operated facility for homeless veterans. Volunteers got to take bulbs home, as Micah praised them for making MainStreet events, like this, a success.

This article was produced in collaboration with New Jersey Civic Information Consortium and Rowan University.


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