April 2011 has been declared by Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini and Bartow County Commissioner Clarence Brown as Keep Bartow Beautiful Month in the county. Between the various cities and organizations such as Keep Bartow Beautiful, an intense cleanup will be underway beginning Saturday, April 2, with the annual Gene Thacker Memorial clean-up at Georgia Highlands College, 5441 Highway 20, from 9 a.m. to noon. Community members are encouraged to join student groups Green Highlands, Spanish Club and Phi Theta Kappa. Lunch, door prizes and free T-shirts will be provided to volunteers.
"Those groups do so much," said Sheri Henshaw, Keep Bartow Beautiful coordinator. "We're expecting maybe 200 people and hopefully the weather will hold for us."
Henshaw stated that throughout the month of April several events will be held every weekend. "We will be having litter collections and storm drain stenciling," she said. "We did some this week and are doing more."
Although national Earth Day is not until the 22nd, the city of Cartersville will be celebrating with a focus on the Atco community as a part of the Great American Cleanup. "Our theme this year is centered around baseball," said Richard Osborne, city planner. "There are a lot of Little League activities the same day and Little League games will have brought out families to the area so that the ability for folks to volunteer to clean up and recycle and take part in everything [that's available]." Registration will take place at the Atco Baptist Church and breakfast will be provided to volunteers as they work from 9 to 11 a.m..
As part of the Atco event, a rummage sale will be in motion as a fundraising event for the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter.
"The rummage sale is not related to the city but is a good fundraising event for the shelter," said Osborne. Donations can be made on the Thursday and Friday (April 14 and 15) preceding the big event.
Scheduled for the same day as the Atco cleanup, the city of Emerson will begin its overhaul at 8 a.m. until noon, also providing breakfast from Doug's Place and a T-shirt for volunteers. "Emerson [had an] award winning cleanup in 200, and Adopt a Road started in the Emerson community," said Henshaw.
The city of Kingston will hold their cleanup April 9 in preparation for Confederate Memorial Day. Joining in the effort the Kingston Women's Club will accompany volunteers as they spruce up the streets and highways leading into the city as well as the cemetery and downtown areas.
Electronics recycling will be included as part of the spring activities. Community members can bring small electronics to the cleanup sites, but televisions must be taken to a Bartow County landfill location.
Although the city and various organizations do as much as possible throughout the year to beautify the county, there are certain things that can be done, and others that cannot. "We've applied for a grant," said Henshaw, "to [focus on the] llttle League ballfield. We want to provide recycling at all sports communities in Bartow County [because there are] lots of plastic bottles and aluminum cans that could be recycled at those places."
Both Henshaw and Osborne stated that the overall goal is to have people actively volunteering to support the effort to rid the county and city of litter. Currently there are 700 shirts ready to be given to volunteers, but Henshaw stated that she will make more if needed and organizers want them all to go out. Most of the cleaning events will occur in April but some things will carry through May and into June.
A calendar for all events can be found on the Keep Bartow Beautiful website within www.bartowga.org. For more information, call Sheri Henshaw at 770-387-5167 or send emails to email@example.com.