Cleanup 'Day'

Pam Monson

Scout planning citywide cleanup, volunteers needed

    For most of the last 10 years, Alexander Day has participated in Boy Scouts; camping, caring for the environment and growing leadership skills that he’ll use later this month to complete his Eagle Scout project.
    Young men nearing the end of their Boy Scouting years conduct Eagle Scout Service Projects to demonstrate leadership while providing a benefit for their community. The projects earn the Scout the Eagle Rank, and have to be completed by the time the Scout turns 18.

The Scout
    Day is a Scout in Troop 440.
    He loved going to Jamboree in Mount Hope, WV, in 2013, and is looking forward to going again. He’s working at Nelly’s to pay for his share of the cost of this year’s trip.
    Day would like to continue in Scouting, if he can find a group where he goes to college and starts a career.
    “I’d like to stick with the program, it’s good for people; the socialization, getting to meet and talk to new people every week,” he said.
 As an adult Scout he can be a leader, a camp counselor, council staff member or committee member — most adult Scout opportunities are geared toward helping younger Scouts get through it and get to the point of doing their Eagle project.
    “We’d like to see everybody succeed, but unfortunately, if we don’t have good adult leaders to stay with the program it just doesn’t happen.
    Day plans to continue his education, studying either nuclear or biomedical engineering in college.
    Leave no trace is one of the concepts of Scouting that Day has embraced.
    “It’s a principle that basically says, leave something, like when you’re camping or hiking, leave whatever you found in a condition better than what you found it in,” he said. Picking up trash and litter along his community’s streets is part of that.

The project
    Day is organizing a litter awareness campaign and citywide cleanup event. Volunteers will be picking up litter along the major roadways and if there are enough people willing to help beautify their community, work crews will go into the subdivisions to pick up along the less-traveled streets.
    “People are going to litter. That’s why we’ll get the signage with the project. We’ll be able to put them up along the roadway and just encourage people to wait and throw the garbage away in the trash can, or put it in a garbage bag in their car and toss it there instead of throwing it out the window,” the Scout said.
    Several segments of the community have been involved in the project, from the business owners who agreed to donate trash bags or bottles of water, to residents who agreed to allow him to put his signs in their yards or supported the project by participating in his fundraisers, such as the garage sale held earlier this month that enabled him to cover the cost of a dumpster to hold all that trash that will be collected.
    “Not only are we involving other community aspects, other than just the people, we’re also involving the businesses, to help show that people care about the environment and what they live in. It’s not just all trash and litter and disgust,” he commented.

What’s needed
    Day needs volunteers to make his cleanup day a success. Volunteers can just show up at city hall, 1165 S. Water St., on Saturday, April 22, at 8 a.m. to lend a hand. He expects the community canvass to be complete by noon.
    Day will coordinate the logistics of volunteer assignments that morning when he sees how many volunteers show up. His goal is to clean up along the major roadways first, including Water, Baltimore and Kankakee streets. When that task is done, they’ll move into the subdivisions, time and workers permitting.
    Day recommends that participants wear comfortable shoes and bring gloves and an extra bottle of water.