Civic leaders are organizing a large cleanup for at least two highly visible parts of Independence.
Leaders have penciled in Saturday, June 3, as the date for a cleanup expected to focus on sections of U.S. 24 and U.S. 40. There could be another one in the fall.
Tom Waters, chair of the Independence Chamber of Commerce board, said there are “lots of details yet to be determined” but said plans are moving ahead and “our hope is that we can attract a good number of volunteers that will go down these corridors and pick up trash …”
The idea has sprung out of a broader conversation many leaders in and out of city government have been holding in recent weeks. That conversation is about moving the community forward economically – attracting business and better jobs. Some of that discussion has been about the appearance of the major entrances to the city and about litter and trash generally.
“We’ve got a big litter problem in our city,” Mayor Eileen Weir said recently.
Organizers are reaching out to service clubs, churches, Scout groups and others to sign up. They’re thinking about T-shirts and even looking for a catchy name and mentioned something like Project Shine, which has caught on in the Independence School District. At that annual event each summer, volunteers paint, do landscaping and address other maintenance needs at several schools.
The Fairmount neighborhood already has a June 3 cleanup set, so leaders decided to piggyback on that, and they might contact other neighborhoods to see they would like to do their cleanups on the same day.
“I can see where groups would want to target an area that they’re interested in,” Waters said.
Council Member Scott Roberson said the effort is a step toward a better environment.
“This could be our own Independence Earth Day,” he said.