News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

October 10, 2012

Keep Terre Haute Beautiful cleanup needs volunteers

TERRE HAUTE — Volunteers are needed Saturday as part of Keep Terre Haute Beautiful, a collaborative trash removal project of TREES Inc. and the city.

Volunteers should arrive at 8 a.m. at Spencer Ball Park, 1461 Eighth Ave.

“This is the 10th year for the cleanup project, which was formerly named Brush Up Terre Haute,” said Armeen Williams, a member of TREES. “We will go out in a 2-mile radius of the park and clean up trash, cans, bottles and we report any old tires or mattresses or furniture we find in alleys. We work with the city’s code enforcement on that.”

Volunteers are given a map and an area to work in. Volunteers then walk or drive down streets and through alleys to pick up trash. “We work in the weather, so volunteers need to dress for whatever the weather does,” said Jane Morse, also a member of TREES.

“Volunteers can be of any age, but children must be accompanied and supervised by adults,” Morse said.

Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett said the cleanup “will have a significant impact, and the whole purpose is to keep the city clean.”

Bennett said the effort last year filled six full-sized dumpsters plus filled eight to 10 dump trucks with trash.

The mayor said the city conducts a “litter index” by driving the city to evaluate trash problems and then rates neighborhoods on a grid system. The Spencer Ball Park area was identified as the worse.

“There are some areas that are close, but this was an area that we had not specifically targeted since I have been in office for cleanup with volunteers going through that area,” Bennett said.

The cleanup project is done in the fall and in the spring, Williams said.

“Last year we had about 100 volunteers in the fall and again in the spring, so about 200 volunteers,” Williams said.

The cleanup is scheduled to be completed by noon. Volunteers can also participate in one- to two-hour time slots. Each volunteer will receive a free T-shirt, bottle of water, snack, work gloves and trash bags, Williams said.

“We work with Republic Services, and trash bags are left on the corners where volunteers are placed and then [trash] is picked up,” Williams added. “We collect in the tons when items such as mattresses and other debris are included.”

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or

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