Village wants to involve students, community on environmental project
With state transportation officials cutting back on roadside cleaning crews, the Wesley Chapel village safety committee is planning to organize a litter pickup day for the spring.
The village council held its monthly meeting Tuesday, Feb. 22, where members proposed to tentatively set the cleanup date for April 30, a Saturday, at 8 a.m.
Because of budget cuts, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has decreased the number of inmate crews performing roadside trash pickup. In exchange, the department is offering to provide garbage bags to volunteers organizing their own event.
Wesley Chapel Mayor Brad Horvath wants to use the village’s spring event as an opportunity to involve community schools in an environmental project.
“Cuthbertson (High School) is already doing cleanup regularly,” Horvath said. “This would be a good opportunity to get more involved with our schools and really educate.”
One of the concerns the village council voiced regarding the cleanup event was the minimum age required for participation. Because pickup would be done along roadside areas, council members want to establish an appropriate age requirement to ensure the safety of younger participants.
“I’m all for [a cleanup day],” Horvath said. “I’m just concerned with the age of the participants. I want to make sure they’re not too young.”
Mayor pro-tem Sondra Bradford echoed Horvath’s concern for the safety of participants. “I think it’s a good idea, but we definitely need to establish a minimum age,” Bradford said. She then suggested participants be at least of high school age.
Horvath also cautioned the council against choosing roads that may be dangerous areas for trash pickup.
Council member Kim Ormiston was enthusiastic about the idea of the pickup day. She and her daughter recently went out to collect trash off area sidewalks. “I did [trash pickup] with my daughter to teach her a lesson,” Ormiston said. “She actually had a lot of fun.”
Horvath was enthusiastic about the opportunity this event offers to educate the schools and the community on protecting the environment. “An education effort is something I’m going to work on,” he said.
The council intends to communicate with neighborhood homeowners’ associations to get the word out. Ormiston is planning to do further research with transportation officials to find out which roads most need the clean-up and which areas would be suitable for a student-based effort.
More information will be available in an upcoming community newsletter as plans surrounding the project solidify.