‘Clean and Green’ volunteer program aims to clean city parks, streets

Illustration by: Megan Rowe

Illustration by: Megan Rowe

As winter comes to a close and the snowpack melts into the streams of Duluth, a layer of trash starts to become visible from under the surface in many neighborhoods and parks.

Cheryl Skafte, volunteer coordinator of The City of Duluth’s Clean and Green Initiative, explained Clean and Green’s mission to pick up trash and freshen up Duluth’s green spaces and streets.

Wind blown garbage collects in an entryway in downtown Duluth

Wind blown garbage collects in an entryway in downtown Duluth

“If it is green outside we clean,” Skafte said. “As soon as we see the snow melting and trash becoming more visible, we have volunteers out picking it up.”

Clean and Green is 100 percent volunteer driven, with efforts donated by school groups, residents and other individuals willing to give their time.

“I think it is more fun to go out with a group and volunteer, having fun with friends while each doing your part to keep our city and parks clean,” Skafte said.

Skafte said that students should play a role in helping clean the city parks.

“Many students chose UMD and Duluth to take advantage of our many green spaces and parks,” Skafte said. “Contributing to cleaning our natural assets provides benefits for everyone.”

UMD Student Association sustainability director David Herrera Santacruz also urges students to be involved.

“It’s a great way to get involved with the community,” Santacruz said. “This whole program was was made for residents of Duluth to take accountability for the beauty of their city and parks.”

A pile of trash sits on a sidewalk along 4th street

A pile of trash sits on a sidewalk along 4th street

Although Student Association also runs similar initiatives, Santacruz supports others involved with this initiative.

“It is similar to efforts that SA is already undertaking, however we commend joining and advocating these efforts,” Santacruz said.

Santacruz also sees Clean and Green as an initiative for students to branch out and get involved in a different way.

“I believe we are not the only resource that there is for students to get involved with this initiative as a group or with friends. It opens up another avenue for students to get involved in community efforts,” Santacruz said.







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