ALLEY CAT — A trash-filled alley on East Main Street could be one target of Springville’s cleanup initiative. Photos by Lizz Schumer.
SPRINGVILLE — A new Springville program’s organizers are looking to make spring cleaning a village-wide effort, this summer. The Springville Property Rehabilitation Program, a voluntary initiative by village officials, nonprofit organizations and local businesses, will kick off its efforts with a Springville Clean-Up Day on May 11.
For this inaugural event, the Christian Youth Corps will coordinate volunteers, residents and business owners, to help with the annual cleanup of yards, walkways and properties, in the village.
According to Springville Mayor William Krebs, the SPRP is a volunteer program, with the stated intention of facilitating voluntary repair of land and buildings in the village of Springville.
“This program is intended to raise awareness of the importance of keeping up the appearance of properties, in the village of Springville,” Krebs said. The cleanup day will kick off several efforts the SPRP has planned, for Springville.
Other events on the docket will include a Fix-Up Fair on June 8, a July work weekend Ambush, coordinated by CYC and the United Way Day of Caring, on Aug. 21. Pete Andrews, director of the CYC, said that he hopes this event will get people in Springville excited for future SPRP events.
DOWN THE DRAIN — Trash collects around a storm drain, after the first spring thaw.
“This gives people the opportunity to come out, wash up windows, clean up the streets [and] get excitement going,” Andrews said. He said that he considers the cleanup day a precursor to the work weekend in July, which will tackle property improvement, on a larger scale.
On that day, groups will assemble in the parking lot of the Village Municipal Building at 65 Franklin St., to receive cleanup assignments. Work will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 2 p.m., followed by an ice cream social.
Andrews said that, in other cleanup events he has undertaken, the efforts of children in the community have led to the area’s staying cleaner, longer.
“I like to say to the kids, ‘Look: This is your community. Do you want it cleaned up, left in good shape or a mess?’ If you get the kids involved, they take ownership of their community,” he explained.
Andrews said that he hopes both kids and adults will volunteer. He added that he is working with the Springville-Griffith Institute District administration, as well as a variety of groups and organizations, to gather volunteers, of all ages.
The CYC director said that the July Ambush work weekend will follow the style of Ambush events that organization has undertaken for people in need, but for the entire village, rather than one or two residents. The CYC will determine the individuals who will be impacted, as well as the scope of the work, in conjunction with Love INC and the Springville Concord Elder Network.
“A lot of people haven’t the wherewithal to bring [their property] up to code, so our goal is to bring out neighbors, get them involved and get [the homeowners] involved, too.
“I like to say that we try to get the youth working,” he continued. “Well, if you can move, in my mind, you’re still youth. Maybe [a homeowner] can’t hoist a hammer, but they can hold an iced tea or a coffee, for the workers.”
DIRTY WORDS — The cleanup day will take care of debris that has been dropped on lawns and littered sidewalks, pictured above.
The Fix-Up Fair, planned for June 8, will feature displays and presentations with the stated goal of helping homeowners with repairs and maintenance of their properties, according to Krebs. Businesses and organizations, such as M&T Bank, Erie County Planning, Erie County Social Services, United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development, Love INC, the CYC, SCENe and local contractors, will participate.
In August, the SPRP will participate in the United Way Day of Caring, by completing projects in the village. The details of that event had yet to be determined, by press time.
Members of the SPRP steering committee include Krebs, Tim Horner, Alan Chamberlin, Helen Brogan, Joanne Elly, Dave Batterson, Wendy Cocca, Ginny Krebs and Andrews.
Those interested in the Clean-Up Day can call Love INC, at 592-3761.