By Helena Rodriguez, PNT Staff Writer
Pride in Portales.
That’s the motto for the eighth annual Great American Clean-Up and that’s what Amy Franz hopes will motivate people to come out on Saturday, pick up a trash bag and help clean up the town.
“Pride in Portales. I really want that to stick in people’s brain. If we all take pride in it, we will take care of our community,” said Franz, the public relations and Clean & Beautiful coordinator for the City of Portales.
Franz hopes the event, which drew about 300 people last year, will draw just as much, if not more this year. Individuals as well as organizations are encouraged to participate. And for those who cannot make it to City Park, Franz said, “People can still participate by cleaning up and down their alley ways. Neighbors can help each other out and clean up around their neighborhoods.”
Among the groups expected to participate are the Portales Rotary Club, La Casa de Buena Salud, Youth Opportunities, Girl Scouts, Chi Omega and Kappa Sigma fraternities from Eastern New Mexico University and several others. In addition, Saturday is also national Make a Difference Day and many ENMU students will meet in the Campus Union Building lobby at 1 p.m. to go and work at two Habitat for Humanity home construction sites.
Groups meeting at the Memorial Building will be assigned to clean up along major highways and in high traffic areas in town as well as at city parks and in neighborhoods.
Diane Parker, a Portales city councilor and member of the Clean and Beautiful Committee has been a part of the Great American Clean-Up in Portales for the past eight years.
“Trouble spots tend to be in the alleys and definitely in empty lots,” Parker said. “We encourage people who can’t come out Saturday to take charge in their own neighborhoods. I walk every morning and there is trash on our streets everywhere.”
Parker said that she hopes that this year’s cleanup is not just a one-time-a-year thing. She would like to see it become a monthly process.
“What we want to do is every month have a designated area or different thing to clean. For example, one month we will encourage people to remove abandoned cars and try to get tow companies to do these at discounts,” she said. “We also want to hand out trash bags for people to keep in their cars so they do not litter.”
The Great American Clean-Up begins at 8 a.m. just behind the Memorial Building on Saturday and people of all ages are welcome and encouraged to participate. It’s all about pride in Portales.
What: Great American Clean-Up
When: 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday
Where: Will begin in back of the Memorial Building at City Park
Why should you go:
• To help clean up our city, alleys, parks, highways and neighborhoods
• Free T-shirts and lunch to be served
• Gloves and trashbags will be supplied
• Three $50 cash prizes to be given to largest group, largest amount of trash collected and winner of a scavenger hunt
Special note: Bring your aluminum cans to benefit Habitat for Humanity and used, wearable clothing to benefit a clothing drive for local churches and nonprofit organizations.