Earth Day was celebrated throughout Clermont County with the Clean and Green Program. Clermont 20/20 sponsored the Clean and Green Spring Litter Pickup in Amelia, Batavia Township, Bethel, Goshen, Milford, New Richmond, Owensville, Union Township, Williamsburg and Withamsville on Saturday, April 18. The event will be held 9 a.m. – noon. Saturday, April 25, in Felicity and from 9 – 11 a.m. Saturday, April 25, at Point Pleasant.
“We had 626 volunteers collect more than 1,000 bags of litter on April 18,” said Becky Ploucha, coordinator for the Clean and Green Program. ”We won’t have a grand total until the events are held in Felicity and Point Pleasant on April 25, but we have had tremendous support this year. Recyclables were separated from the rest of the litter and will be recycled appropriately.”
More than 45 people signed up in Bethel at Burke Park to participate in the event and organizer Travis Dotson was manning a grill filled with hot dogs to serve those who helped.
According to Ploucha, some areas in the county exceeded their expectations for volunteers.
"Batavia Township had a terrific turnout and Goshen quadrupled the number of volunteers they had in the past," said Ploucha. "In Milford, we had prepared for 90 and there were well over 100 volunteers. Owensville had 40 volunteers, Williamsburg had well over 100 and Withamsville had 60 volunteers. Overall, our staging area numbers were up."
Several groups who participated in Bethel included the American Heritage Girls Troop OH 0522, Cub Scout Pack 196 from Bethel and Cub Scout Pack 629 from Hamersville.
"Our group collected 14 bags of trash, four tires, three metal chairs and a front wheel from a bicycle," said AHG Leader Cassie Anderson.
"There were a lot of kids who participated in the clean up," said Ploucha. "This is a great way to instill a sense of community service in the younger kids. The Young Professionals Group worked at the Union Township site and we had a number of church groups involved in Williamsburg. We have a very diverse group of volunteers which makes the event even better."
Refreshments were provided to the volunteers and each one received a T-shirt at the conclusion of the event.
Earth Day is celebrated worldwide on April 22. The first Earth Day was organized in 1970 in an effort to promote environmental citizenship worldwide. Millions of demonstrators and thousands of schools and communities participated. Clermont County Earth Day celebrations began 12 years ago with the very first spring litter pickup and Roadside Rainbow event organized by Clermont 20/20, Inc. Litter and debris was removed from roadsides in Clermont County and in its place thousands of daffodil bulbs were planted.
"We could not have done this event without the help of our contributors," said Ploucha. "We were very fortunate to receive so much community support. I would like to thank our major contributors for making this year's spring litter pickup possible: Adams Clermont Solid Waste District, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, United Dairy Farmers, Allscreen, Duke Energy, H.J Benkens Florist and Greenhouse, Kamphaus, Henning and Hood CPA, Ace Hardware-Withamsville and Murphy Supply Company in West Chester," said Ploucha. "We really couldn't do it without them."
Donations of gloves, trash bags, hot dogs, buns, water and snacks were received from area businesses and a grant from Duke Energy was used to help purchase needed supplies.
A Computer Recycling Event was held in Miami Township in conjunction with the Cincinnati Computer Cooperative.
"The computer recycling went incredibly well," said Ploucha. "We had 119 individuals donate computer equipment and that equals to 100s of components that will not end up in a landfill."