by Mitchell Kirk
More than 100 volunteers descended upon the streets of downtown Logansport yesterday for some spring cleaning as a part of the city’s annual Downtown Green and Clean Day.
The event is organized by downtown revitalization organization Logan’s Landing. Becki Harris, the organization’s director, said a clean downtown creates a positive first impression for those visiting the city.
“I feel downtown is the front door of the community,” Harris said. “I often go further and say it’s the welcome mat.”
Harris added a spruced-up downtown goes on to let visitors know citizens take pride in their town.
“Even if people are just driving through, it’s almost like subliminal advertising that this is a community that cares,” she said. “If trash is blowing around, why would you want to stop?”
About 106 volunteers came out for the event from more than 10 organizations, including the Logansport Fire Department, Ivy Tech Community College and its honor society Phi Theta Kappa, Royal Center United Methodist Church, Girl Scouts, Logansport Municipal Utilities, Family Opportunity Center, Cass-Pulaski Community Corrections, Buffalo Wild Wings, Revolution Community Church, Vineyard Community Church and Logansport High School’s dance team, the Berryettes.
Using gloves provided by Peak Community Services and the United Way of Cass County and bags provided by McCord’s Do-It Best, Inc., volunteers picked up trash, trimmed trees, pulled weeds and swept sidewalks, stopping occasionally for a bottle of water provided by Logansport Savings Bank.
Branden Scott, youth pastor at Royal Center United Methodist Church, came out with a group of the congregation’s youth Saturday.
“The younger they are, when you get them involved, they get a desire to do it as they get older too,” he said, pausing from sweeping the sidewalk along Fourth Street near the Iron Horse Depot.
Employees with Ivy Tech Community College and members of the school’s honor society Phi Theta Kappa went up and down both sides of Market Street between Eighth and Third streets, picking up cigarette butts, pulling weeds, sweeping sidewalks and trimming trees and bushes.
Brenda Hamilton, a financial aid associate at Ivy Tech, agreed that helping to clean the area provided volunteers with a greater sense of ownership of the town.
“Being from here, I’m used to seeing whether or not the streets are clean,” she said.
Kelsey Hendrickson, a server at Buffalo Wild Wings, came out with some of her coworkers to help tidy up Third Street downtown.
“I wanted to get out in the community, help out, be in the weather, hang out with good friends and be productive on a Saturday morning,” she said.
Members of Vineyard Community Church could be found along East Broadway, sweeping up sidewalks and pulling weeds underneath trees.
“Downtown is important to the entire community,” said Glinda Whitham, outreach leader at the church, as she hauled a bag of yard waste. “We just want to help make it look nice and more appealing.”
Harris said she was thankful for the volunteers’ efforts, which led to more than 90 bags of yard waste, six bags of trash, one recycling tote and one dump truck full of loose brush.
“We’re very, very grateful for the volunteers,” she said. “Lots come back year after year. It speaks volumes. They’re obviously getting something out of this.”
Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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