Main Street Clean Sweep set for Friday
On Friday at 11 a.m., scores of people of all ages will gather in front of the old Kroger and decide which part of downtown Versailles they want to make a little prettier. Then they'll head out to sites including Big Spring Park, Lewis Walton Park, the Woodford County Courthouse, the Versailles Municipal Building and Main Street, said Versailles City Council Member Mike Coleman. Volunteers will be given trash bags, gloves, litter-grabbers (as supplies last) and t-shirts to wear after they finish cleaning up. Friday's event is one of 20 "Main Street Clean Sweeps" in Central Kentucky that day and the following, Earth Day, organized by Bluegrass Greensource, a non-profit environmental group headquartered in Lexington. (Community Trust Bank is a local sponsor.) "Our mission is to empower the citizens of Central Kentucky to create a sustainable environment, and what we've realized is that people hear about Earth Day ... there's all this hubbub about it, but there's often very little people know they can do," said Amy Sohner, executive director of Bluegrass Greensource. Coleman said that last year about 100 volunteers, including 40 school children, picked up 400 pounds of trash over two days in Big Spring Park and other areas. This year, teams will again choose their own downtown clean-up areas, and Versailles Public Works Department workers will take the filled bags to the county recycling center for weighing before hauling them to a Lawrenceburg landfill. "They try to get as many of the recyclables out as they can," Coleman said. "I hope that the weather is good. Last year, we had some rain in the middle of Friday, so that kind of put a damper on things, but for not having done it before, I thought 400 pounds and having close to 100 people participate was pretty good. I hope we exceed that this year." Every little bit helps, Sohner said. "Litter is something that we all see every day and it makes us mad every day, and we often think, 'I wish someone would pick that up,' and this is an opportunity for us to be that someone," said Sohner. Sohner said for some volunteers there's a carry-over effect. "If you feel that you can do something about it on one day, you're much more likely to do something about it on the next day, and the next day, and the next day," Sohner said. "If you continuously see something and no one is doing anything about it, people just become immune to it and it doesn't bother them and they're much more likely to litter. But if we can get people out for one day to make a difference, the chances of them expanding that to their whole life ... is much greater." Coleman said people can still sign up online at www.BgGreensource.com - or just show up at the old Kroger Friday at 11 a.m.