By Karen Carr Keefe
Earth Day is Thursday, April 22.
But just two days later comes another important day to mark on your calendar: Clean Up Grand Island 2021 takes place from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 24.
Earth Day’s motto is “Together, we restore our Earth.”
Grand Island’s? “Partner with the Town of Grand Island the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce and other local organizations as we work together to spruce up our beautiful Island.”
To learn how to get involved:
•Residents can contact Council member Jennifer Baney: 716-622-9006.
•Organizations can contact Grand Island Highway Superintendent Dick Crawford: 716-818-6992
•Businesses can contact Chamber of Commerce President Eric Fiebelkorn: 716-319-7292.
Those three are working, along with resident Debby Whelan, to make the second townwide cleanup even better than the first, Baney said.
Baney talked about the upcoming event at the Town Board meeting on Monday, March 15. “We’ll have prizes for businesses, residents, children – whoever is participating. We’re really excited to receive pictures from those who participate and make it even larger,” she said.
“It’s really nice during what still is a difficult season to be focusing on something we can all agree on, in that our island’s a beautiful place and that we can all work together to make it a little bit more beautiful.
Crawford explained that Debby Whelan is an Islander who, a couple of years ago, was posting in Facebook about her walks down to the waterfront, down East River, around the River Oaks area of all the garbage and debris she was finding.
“From her initiative, we put together a cleanup last year, and there were probably 40 or 50 people, maybe more, that participated and we did an islandwide cleanup. So, we want to make it an annual event,” Crawford said.
He said organizers are trying to get neighborhoods involved. “We will assist by having areas that people can adopt to go out and pick up.”
“Certain safety priorities will be put in place if we put a group together that’s going to go on any of the major roads, to keep everybody safe.”
Last year, participants included the Lions Club and the Rotary Club. Crawford has also heard from DECA adviser Cheryl Chamberlain at the High School. “There are students that need to get volunteer hours. So we’re going to work a program together with her and get things done.”
Fiebelkorn from the Chamber will be reaching out to the businesses for their participation.
Baney said flyers for the Grand Island cleanup will be distributed in the near future
Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper is another organization with a cleanup event, Spring Sweep, that begins on April 24 and runs through May 2.
Go to https://bnwaterkeeper.org/programs/cleanup/ for information on Small Group Cleanup Day. The organization, which terms itself guardian of Western New York’s fresh water for over 30 years, urges people to join throughout the entire week to prevent pollution and be a part of the Great Lakes Cleanup.