Spring is the season of new beginnings, with budding trees and chirping birds and all of life abloom again. But as the snow melts off and makes way for greener days, it uncovers all of what’s been lingering beneath – the garbage, dog waste and sand used for slick roads. So while you’re thinking of spring cleaning inside your home, why not step into the sunshine and give the outdoors a good once-over, too?
This is the time to get out your rubber boots and garden gloves and help bring your community back to life. Chances are a quick google search will tell you where to find volunteer groups in your city that you can join – or even better, organize a community cleanup of your own. It’s a fun way to get to know your neighbours a little better, and a perfect excuse for a post-cleanup BBQ! Here are a few tips on how to bring it all together.
• Find your opportunity: Is there an area of your community, like a public park, ravine or school yard, that needs attention? Honing in on a particular spot will make it easier to get the job done without feeling overwhelmed.
• Choose your date: Earth Day is Sunday, April 22nd and a very apropos day to get a group together for the betterment of the environment. But really, any day will do (rain or shine).
• Get the word out there: Post flyers in your neighbourhood (think recreation centres, libraries and churches) asking for volunteers, send out an email to those you know and ask them to pass it on, and get the word out on social media. Once you have your helper base, you can put together a plan of action.
• Have a strategy: A few days before your cleanup day, communicate with your group and decide who will bring supplies like garbage bags and how you’ll dispose of the trash. You may also want to divide and conquer, so think about what time you’d like people to arrive and how long you’ll need them for.
• Have fun! Here’s a great way to get the kids involved and have some fun. Why not turn the cleanup into a scavenger hunt? The first one to collect everything on their list wins a prize!
• Throw a post-cleanup party: After all your hard work, there’s no better way to pat yourselves on the back than with a post clean-up bash. Host a BBQ or get a permit to celebrate in a park (be sure not to leave any trash!) and share high-fives all around.
While the objective of your event is to better your community, it really is about so much more. The connections, camaraderie, sense of accomplishment and general pride you’ll feel will be well worth all the work.