The Arkansas City Beautification and Tree Advisory Board is preparing for Fall Cleanup Week.
This effort to tidy up streets, homes and businesses in Arkansas City is scheduled for two weeks before Arkalalah, running from Oct. 9 to Oct. 13.
During that week, sanitation crews will pick up extra loads and even some unusual items. Leaves still need to be taken to the F Street burn pit, however.
On Oct. 14, groups of people will volunteer their time to help people clean up their properties on Fall Cleanup Day.
There are many different facets to the cleanup effort, including mowing, trash and debris pickup, and potentially even some painting.
Several key areas have been targeted in central and southern Ark City, given their proximity to Arkalalah Festival activities.
“The board really wants to get the town looking as nice as possible for our biggest festival of the year, especially with this year’s special dedication of the Wilson Park train engine,” said Public Information Officer Andrew Lawson.
For more information or to volunteer for Fall Cleanup Day, call Lawson at (620) 441-4415 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board members spent most of their Sept. 28 regular meeting discussing plans and details for the citywide cleanup effort.
Combination Inspector Brian Williams said several properties located adjacent to alleys downtown need to be attacked with weed whackers.
Additionally, homes that currently are being monitored for property maintenance due to nuisance complaints will be addressed as volunteers are able.
While plans for Fall Cleanup Day are proceeding well, there still is concern about finding sufficient volunteers to help with the numerous projects.
Groups affiliated with churches, schools and civic organizations have begun pledging their time to help, but the board would like to see more involvement from the community at large.
“It’s just a few hours and we’re feeding (volunteers) breakfast,” Lawson said. “We have a gentleman coming over from Wellington who’s in his 70s and retired, and he doesn’t want to come here unless he can work all day. If he’s able to do that, I hope some younger folks are willing to match his effort for at least one morning.”
Fall Cleanup Day schedule
Volunteers will meet at 8 a.m. Oct. 14 at Wilson Park, under the rotunda, for donuts and coffee.
From there, the members of the board will distribute assignments for those who come to work.
Each volunteer is asked to wear clothing and shoes appropriate for working outside.
“They’ll (also) need to bring their own gloves,” said board vice chair Jill Wineinger. Other supplies, such as trash bags, will be provided.
Volunteers are welcomed to bring their own tools, as well. Some projects might require items such as shovels, rakes, chainsaws, weed whackers and pole saws.
Owners of the properties to be worked on will have to sign liability waivers in order to receive assistance.
The waivers give volunteers permission to be on the property, as well as inform the property owners of their legal risks and responsibilities.
Those who volunteer are not required to sign a waiver, but any risk taken will be assumed by the volunteer.