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Record numbers turn out for Clean-up Day

Good publicity, good examples, and good weather inspire 360 volunteers to make a visible difference

photos and text BY Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (April 28, 2018) – Bright skies, brisk temperatures, and blustery winds greeted the 360 volunteers who participated in Lansing’s ninth annual Community Clean-up Day. Organizer Vivian Payne called it the most successful ever. News articles, social media posts, and an impromptu clean-up effort led by Mayor Eidam and Village employees on Friday, April 13, inspired dozens of new registrations in the final week leading up to the event.

Clerk Vivian Payne (orange shirt) and Mayor Patty Eidam (brown jacket) were part of a group of Village employees who spent two hours on April 13 cleaning up along the highway. Their example may have inspired the record number of volunteers who signed up for Community Clean-up Day on April 28. (Photo: Arlo Kallemeyn)

Payne organized the volunteers into groups, equipped them with garbage bags and recycling bags, and sent them to 28 locations around the village, some of which were known litter sites and others that had been specifically requested by residents. For two hours, the groups picked up trash and recyclables along roadways, around railroad tracks, and throughout empty fields. After depositing their filled bags at the side of a road—so they would be collected by Public Works—the volunteers convened at the First Church pavilion, where grilled hot dogs and hamburgers awaited them.

Diane Lund gathered a group of neighbors and fellow church members, and together they cleaned up both sides of 186th Street. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
In the distance, Lynn Kazmierowski and Kerry and Art Czarobski were part of Diane Lund’s group of neighbors who cleaned up the entire stretch of 186th Street.
BEFORE: The ditches along 186th, particularly near the forest preserve, had trapped a lot of litter throughout the winter.
Community Clean-up Day
AFTER: Community Clean-up Day is a nice opportunity to make a visible difference in the community!
For the second year in a row, the Southtowne Stallions—a local youth football and cheer program—cleaned up Erfert Park. This year’s troop of trash collectors included Brandon Terry Jr., Fred Ridley III, Trenton Walker, Brandi Terry, Brandon Terry, Fred Ridley Jr., and Travaughn Howse.
Chanta Manson and Debra Ridley showed up just in time to take credit for the Southtown Stallions’ clean-up efforts at Erfert.
“We have great hope for Lansing’s future,” said Tiffany Wells (left), “and we know we have to be a part of it.” “We also want to teach our kids to serve,” added Michelle Smith (black cap). They and others from Living Word Church cleaned along Torrence Avenue.
Joyce Mulder (far left) said this was the largest contingent New Hope Church has had for Community Clean-up Day. Approximately 25 churches took on three locations west of Torrence Avenue. Together they gathered about 50 bags of trash and recyclables.
Building Commissioner Zoran Savic (with rake) and various Village employees, including Mayor Eidam (not pictured), spent the morning cleaning up around businesses along Bernice Road and Oak Avenue. Savic took advantage of the opportunity to remind business owners that Lansing ordinances require them to keep their property clean. “The Mayor shouldn’t have to be cleaning up after you!” he told them.
Steve Payne (baseball cap) and Mayor Eidam (blue coat) served hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, water, and soda to shivering volunteers. First Church PCA hosted the post-clean-up lunch in their pavilion and provided grills and picnic tables.
Following the clean-up, Art Czarobski refueled with a hot dog at First Church.
A group of Land O’Frost employees picnicked together after spending their Saturday morning cleaning up the grassy area all around the Land O’Frost building on 170th Street.
After a morning of trash-collecting, Cleaner-uppers soaked up the sunshine in the lawn near the pavilion at First Church.


Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.