Volunteers Sweep Clean

During the week following Clean Sweep– Oswego’s Earth Day trash pick-up— the weather was cold, windy, rainy, even snowy.

I am reminded of the hundreds of volunteers who left their own comfort zone on April 22 so that Oswego’s “living room” to the community could be enjoyed clutter free and safely by thousands of residents and visitors to our city and shoreline.

More than 300 volunteers scoured the canal corridor including the roadways on both sides of Oswego River, adjacent parking lots, grass and shrub embankments, and pedestrian pathways as well as lake view areas east of Fort Ontario to Rudy’s in the west.

They did so with good spirit and stories to tell.

Many of those stories can be told with pictures, thanks to the photography of RSVP volunteer Jon Vermilye, who posted some of the images on his website, lakeshoreimages.com

Clean Sweep was a team effort on the part of city government, SUNY Oswego’s Student Association, the college administration, County of Oswego Environment Management Council, New York State,  local businesses and of course the volunteers.

Volunteers came in teams:  “The Good Terns,” “Trashy Ladies & a Guy,” “Geriatric Squad,” “OHS Environmental Club,” “Motherearthbaby” business & family;  other families, friends  and individuals who formed teams of about 6 people.

Energizing the effort were 19 Greek organizations from the college who came in teams of 10 to 25 people and swelled the effort to more than 300 volunteers.

Following the event, volunteers re-convened inside the McCrobie Civic Center and consumed pizza donated and provided by Franco’s Pizzeria, supplemented by a generous donation from Rudy’s.

Eagle Beverage donated water bottles for all the volunteers and Valti-Graphics underwrote the expense of  T-shirts for the first 100 participants.

Constellation Nuclear Energy Group contributed 300 leather gloves and Allen Chase donated the use of his A-Bus van service to shuttle volunteers to and from their work sites.

The city of Oswego Clean Sweep is not yet done!

The Sea Scouts offered to cover any areas in May that were missed and the Oswego City Fire Department Dive Team will volunteer once again when the temperature warms to do their dive to collect refuse under water.

On behalf of the Campus/City Relations Committee and RSVP which spearheaded this year’s effort, I heartily thank all the volunteers and supporters who gave their time and energy to make this seventh annual community effort the success it was.

Ellen Wahl, Director
Retired & Senior Volunteer Program