Volunteers encouraged to support Connellsville Cares cleanup

| Friday, May 10, 2013, 5:57 p.m.

The Connellsville Cares cleanup event will be a day of volunteerism.

Downtown Connellsville has designated May 18 as a citywide cleanup day.

Various organizations have taken the initiative and agreed to participate. And organizers hope the community will come out.

PennDOT will supply gloves, vests and garbage bags, and coloring books and crayons for children.

Scottdale Manor will donate water for volunteers.

“We are looking forward to great results from this community-wide cleanup in anticipation of a full weekend of activities in Connellsville over the Memorial Day weekend,” said Dan Cocks of Downtown Connellsville.

The cleanup day is part of The Great American Clean-Up and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, which are ongoing efforts. Those who can volunteer are asked to register early by calling ArtWorks at 724-320-6392, then come to the gallery at 139 W. Crawford Ave. at 9 a.m. May 18.

Believe In Connellsville volunteers committed to join with Downtown Connellsville for the Connellsville Cares day.

“Believe in Connellsville would like to encourage local businesses and property owners to participate with the citywide cleanup. We would also like to encourage citizens to come out and help on Saturday, May 18,” said Anthony Lembo, a BIC member.

The Connellsville Recreation Board is also participating. The all-volunteer board will paint, repair and spruce up several city parks that get used a lot through every season.

”We are still working on getting the hoops put in at South Side Park. We also need paint for the concession stands at East Park and Woodruff Park because they both will get painted that day. We expect to work hard and get a lot done. Volunteers are needed, and Dave Lynn from Lynn's Pub & Grill has offered to have a pizza party at Lynn's for up to 50 volunteers after the cleanup,” said Melissa Tzan, recreation board president.

The rec board will be focusing on three parks that day, said recreation board member Greg Lincoln.

Lincoln said volunteers hope to get the concession stand and bandshell painted at East Park.

Lincoln said Ken Brooks has organized a group of Masons who will help to pick up litter.

At Woodruff Park, the Connellsville Area High School Football team will clean up litter and paint the concession stand there.

At South Side Park, Lincoln said volunteers will be picking up debris and painting the fence.

“We ask those who plan to help us paint to please bring a roller to use. If any person or group would like to adopt an area or adopt a street where they live on May 18, they can contact us at our rec board page on Facebook or by emailing us at cvilleparksnrec@yahoo.com. Downtown Connellsville will be providing vests, gloves and garbage bags while they last in front of ArtWorks that morning,” said Lincoln.

May 18 is also National River Clean-Up, and local citizens will work together with Sustainable Connellsville to conduct a river cleanup tackling litter in the Youghiogheny River. More than 75 volunteers are expected.

“Connellsville is dedicated to protecting the Youghiogheny River because a sustainable community starts with a healthy river. Clean and healthy rivers provide everything from clean drinking water and recreational opportunities to fish and wildlife habitat,” said Geno Gallo, sustainable coordinator for Connellsville.

American Rivers' National River Clean-Up is a series of nationwide community based river and stream cleanups. The event raises public awareness about the need for healthy rivers.

“The city of Connellsville, in cooperation with Sustainable Connellsville, is committed to keeping the Youghiogheny River clean so we can protect and restore it for us and for future generations. Participating in a river cleanup is one way that citizens can do their part for the river we all love,” said Gallo.

“Rivers connect us to each other, to nature and to future generations. It is wonderful to see so many people in Connellsville and across the country taking action to protect and restore their rivers and clean water. We applaud Sustainable Connellsville for the work they do on behalf of the river and the community,” said Bob Irvin, president of American Rivers.

The first 75 registered participants will receive a free 2013 Connellsville River Clean-up T-shirt. Drinks and snacks will be provided during the day and lunch for all participants. All activities will be centered around pavilion No. 2 at Yough River Park.

“Come help us clean up the river in time for the 2013 summer season,” said Gallo.

Sustainable Connellsville promotes integrated solutions in dealing with the social, environmental and economic issues that affect the community. It educates and empowers citizenry and local leaders via various outreaches. The primary outreach is its annual sustainability fair in the fall.

Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.

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