PORTSMOUTH — As the warmer weather moves into the area and more people head outdoors, Friends of Portsmouth hopes residents will consider joining them in cleaning up the community.
Starting in July 2020, Friends of Portsmouth sets out once a month for a couple of hours to clean up the county’s streets by removing trash and other objects. Since its start, the cleanup days have quickly gained traction with community members and residents hoping to make Portsmouth look and feel a little better.
“We have had 10 people show up to 180 people,” Bryan Smith said. “It is a great way to contribute to your community and help.”
Smith shared that the group works in all six wards within the city. “We try to encourage people to get involved in their wards and to take a sense of pride,” Smith said. “That’s the big drive behind it and to get community involvement.”
Fresh on the heels of the March clean up Smith said he is encouraged by what he saw, and the amount of people interested in making Portsmouth a more inclusive and beautiful place to live. Smith shared at the last cleanup, the group collected more than 200 bags of trash and several tires.
“This is by far probably the largest amount of trash we have collected because it included a highway,” Smith said. “On average, we will have at least 60 bags of trash.”
While the cleanup group is open to anyone who wants to help, Smith hopes that school and church groups will join in on future dates. Smith explained that the group currently has several high school students already involved but would love to see more youth groups involved with the cleanups. Those who wish to participate only need to bring themselves and a willingness to clean up the city as trash bags, gloves and other items are provided by Friends of Portsmouth.
“Our next cleanup date will be April 17. The location is to be determined, but as soon as we know, we will make a post about it,” Smith said.
Smith also announced that on May 22, the group will be hosting their spring clean, where there will be groups cleaning in all six wards of the city. Smith hopes that organizations and council members in those wards will come out and help in the cleanup.
“So far, we have gotten great feedback from the community and the council,” Smith said. “We try to work with them and get the areas that need it most.”
Smith said those who would like to get involved can sign up on the Friends of Portsmouth Facebook Page or by contacting Smith directly.
“It has really turned into a cool thing,” Smith said. “I love the community interaction and involvement.”
Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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