Members of the Jamesville-DeWitt Boys Modified Lacrosse team pose for a picture at the 2015 spring cleanup.
By Hayleigh Gowans
On Saturday, April 22, the DeWitt Advisory Conservation Committee (DACC) will hold its annual Earth Day town-wide spring clean up event, and is seeking volunteers to help with the effort to keep DeWitt a clean place to live, work and visit.
The event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on April 22 and there will be three clean up headquarters: the DeWitt Town Hall at 5400 Butternut Drive, East Syracuse; The Village Deli, W. Manlius St., East Syracuse; and Robbie T’s Pizzeria, North Street, Jamesville. Refreshments will be available at each location for participants.
Volunteers will be provided with trash bags, stickers, gloves and safety vests at the meeting locations by DACC. Volunteers can clean a location of their choice or will be assigned a location.
This event was started about 30 years ago in Jamesville by Jamesville Positive Action Committee leaders Vicki Baker and Martha Loew, but expanded to include the whole town three years ago. The main purpose of the event is to bring the community together to clean areas where refuse has been left throughout the town.
“Ever since we began cleaning the streets in DeWitt we have stressed the importance of maintaining a community that is an attractive place in which to live, to work and to visit, to shop, to patronize our parks and trails, even to attend college,” said Dennis Payne, member of DACC and event organizer. “We are convinced that it is an economic as well as aesthetic investment for residents to be aggressive picking up litter, to be vigilant in reporting dumping and to refrain from adding to the roadside trash problem.”
New this year is a partnership with Canal Clean Sweep, which is an annual event held throughout the state to clean up the area of the Erie Canal. Volunteers may be able to bring their own canoes and work to clean up in the water area of the canal. Payne said he hopes this will encourage more people to clean along the Old Erie Canal from its terminus near DeWitt Town Hall through to North Burdick Street in Manlius.
Efforts by many different organizations have helped this cause to keep DeWitt clean, said Payne, such as the town working with the New York State Department of Parks to get more dog waste stations along the canal trail, and the efforts of Onondaga County Legislature David Knapp and the Onondaga County Highway Department to install a locked gate to discourage dumping at the bottom of Old Stonehouse Road, which runs from Nottingham Road until it dead-ends at I-481 in the Rock Cut valley. Payne said over the past three years, about five tons of waste has been collected by volunteers at that location.
A fall cleanup will be held later this year on Sept. 30.
“We will continue to conduct spring and fall clean up events in DeWitt as we try to gain the upper hand on roadside litter,” said Payne “By the way, data collected by the town highway department, which picks up all of our collected trash, seems to indicate that we may be making some progress.”
Those who would like to participate but who will not be available on April 22 may choose to clean on a different day. For more information, contact Dennis Payne at 315-469-0565 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a reporter for the Eagle Bulletin and Cazenovia Republican at Eagle News. I report on topics ranging from town and village government, business, news and features. I am a 2014 graduate of the Roy H. Park School of Communications and have a degree in Journalism and a minor in Psychology.