Carbondale will soon receive a host of visitors for the solar eclipse and many new residents this week for the start of the fall semester at SIU.
In anticipation of these events, two organizations teamed up Saturday to pick up litter around the streets of Carbondale.
Volunteers from both Keep Carbondale Beautiful and the Arbor District Neighborhood Association came together to clean up trash in downtown Carbondale and the Arbor District neighborhood.
Keep Carbondale Beautiful does these cleans up frequently, but it is typically only done by the Arbor District when students are about to return to class or when there is a big event nearby. This time of year, it so happens that a big event and classes start at the same time.
The upcoming solar eclipse is a big part of why both groups came together. It is the goal of the groups to make Carbondale look more presentable to visitors,
“It’s a first impression for a lot of people who’ve never been here, and they may want to come back, but it depends on what they see,” said Jerry Molumby, past president of Keep Carbondale Beautiful.
Volunteers cleaned up along main roads in Carbondale expected to be the most traveled. Altogether, more than 20 volunteers went down both sides of Illinois 13, and the areas that make up the Arbor District, which makes up the area from University Street to Mill Street and Oakland to Main Street, and everything in between,
The Arbor District Association has been doing such clean ups in conjunction with Keep Carbondale Beautiful for about 20 years, said Arbor District President Daniel Presley. He said Keep Carbondale Beautiful helps them by providing trash bags, gloves, and promoting the days when they clean.
“We want to keep our community clean,” Presley said. “We just want to be good stewards of our community, and we want other people to be good stewards as well.”
Sarah Heyer, the executive board member of Keep Carbondale Beautiful, urges people to pick up trash as they see it while walking, running, or just anytime they are outside.
“Studies show that if a place has no litter, then there is less likelihood that people will throw litter,” Heyer said, “That’s why if you see one piece, you pick it up.”
Jonathan DevlescHoward has lived in the Arbor District for 14 years, and said he has the same belief as Heyer.
“If the students feel that their neighborhood is clean, they’ll have more of a tendency to pick up a wrapper and throw it away, rather than see trash everywhere,” DevlescHoward said.
Keep Carbondale Beautiful will be doing two additional cleanups this month: one on Saturday and the next on Aug. 26. During the eclipse, Heyer said the Carbondale Main Street will have a crew picking up trash.