Editor’s note: Gimme 5 is a five-question interview on a topic of local interest.
Who: Carrie Ottum, recreation program supervisor with the Eau Claire Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department.
Talks about: The 10th annual Amazing Eau Claire Cleanup on Saturday.
Details: Volunteers report to their assigned cleanup locations at 9 a.m. and work until around 11 a.m., when they are invited to Boyd Park for a reception until noon. The deadline to register was Friday, April 13.
Information: Marybeth Berry at 715-839-5039 or Marybeth.firstname.lastname@example.org.
How many people typically participate in the event and what kind of age range have you seen?
Our pre-registration numbers are between 350 and 400. There were around 550 volunteers in 2017, thanks to the cooperating weather.
Typically, volunteers are as young as grade school age to active older adults. Many families, civic groups and businesses have made this an annual tradition.
What should volunteers bring?
Volunteers are encouraged to wear proper clothing for working outside, picking up litter and raking tasks. Gardening or work gloves are always recommended for safety.
The city provides garbage bags for the volunteers and mulch where needed. Downtown Eau Claire Inc. provides tools necessary for cleaning flower beds and sweeping in the downtown area.
What type of work can participants expect to do during the cleanup?
Most of the volunteers focus on gathering litter in the parks, trails and downtown area. Some groups participate in landscaping tasks such as raking and preparing flower beds. Unfortunately, it’s still too cold to plant flowers.
Can you provide a rundown of the volume and type of debris collected last year?
Last year volunteers collected 312 bags (over 2 tons) of debris, including four tires, a couch, a bed spring and miscellaneous steel.
How does the event benefit the city and perhaps even the volunteers?
This event is an opportunity for volunteers to take ownership of the community through a citywide cleanup while building camaraderie with their friends, families and neighbors.
It’s also a great partnership between volunteers and city staff to work together to keep our parks, trails and downtown beautiful.