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Making your public spaces cleaner

J. H. Osborne • Apr 22, 2017 at 7:28 PM

KINGSPORT On Saturday, celebrated gloabally as "Earth Day," Keep Kingsport Beautiful hosted its second annual "Clean Sweep Kingsport" event, drawing volunteers to sites througout the city to remove litter and other debris from public spaces.

"We've had cleanups going on literally from one end of Kingsport to the other," said Keep Kingsport Beautiful Director Robin Cleary. "We've got a cleanup going on all along the Greenbelt. We've got lots of good activity going on."

Cleary estimated about 150 volunteers turned out Saturday, despit the weather.

"We've had a great turnout for a rainy overcast day," Cleary said at about 10 a.m. "We've had a couple of downpours and people haven't left on us. We've had a good day."

Beautification and cleanup events also took place Saturday and in some cases earlier in the week at Warriors Path State Park, Bays Mountain Park, and in individual neighorhoods - including some hosted and led by schools in those areas.

"Our mission is to engage our citizens in responsible ways to keep Kingsport clean, green and beautiful," Cleary said. "This is a big part of that today. It's also a way to get folks out and engaged in their own community. When you get out and work in your own neighborhood or around your child's school, or your church, or you come out with your co-workers to clean up an area, you're more connected."

Cleary said when volunteers work to clean an area in the rain or on a hot day, it makes them more likely to notice and speak up if someone else is littering - and often the volunteers will follow through with the cleanup concept by carrying a bag along to pick up litter whenever they go for a walk, whether it be on sidewalks downtwon or on the greenbelt or on trails at city parks.

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