Clean and Green brought businesses, civic groups and community members together to make downtown brighter and cleaner in one big sweep last Saturday. More than 550 volunteers met at Miller Plaza for a fun-filled day of collecting trash and recyclables, removing graffiti, painting, planting and helping out where needed.
The volunteer groups impacted the following districts and neighborhoods in the downtown area: City Center, Riverfront, NorthShore, Southside, MLK/UTC, Fort Wood, Glenwood, Orchard Knob, Highland Park, Glenwood and Hill City. This year’s event marked the fourth consecutive year for River City Company’s Clean and Green program.
It was sponsored by Volkswagen Chattanooga and the Downtown Chattanooga Rotary and Rotaract Club with partners Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise, causeway, SERVPRO of Chattanooga, Custom Werks Graphics, the City of Chattanooga and Orange Grove Center.
With help from sponsors, partners and volunteers, 1100 bags of trash and 500 bags of recyclables were collected from streets and 20 buildings were wiped clean of graffiti along with removal from city infrastructure like parking meters and bus stops.
“It was inspiring to meet the 550 volunteers that participated this year and see how eager they were to wake up early on a Saturday morning to help beautify their city,” said Paige Southard, program coordinator at River City Company. “We are so thankful for their participation, and their downtown is shining because of it.”
Specific projects for this year’s event included cleaning vacant storefronts in City Center, removing graffiti from Patten Parkway and restoring the playground at Partnership for Families Children and Adult’s Crisis Center. For all their hard work, volunteers were treated to breakfast, t-shirts, reusable totes, water bottles and more.
Nick Macco, founder of Southtree which had a team in the cleanup this year states that "Southtree loved Clean and Green and its mission of stewardship for our city. We're glad to be a part of making our city beautiful, and it’s certainly the most fun our team has had picking up trash!"