Milford Community Clean Up will tidy city April 24

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MILFORD — After missing 2020 due to the pandemic, the Milford Community Clean Up will return April 24 at 8 a.m.

The communal spring-cleaning event will be a joint venture between the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford, Downtown Milford Inc., the city of Milford and a wide array of sponsors like Milford Church of God and Perdue.

“We’re hoping to have 200 people (volunteer),” said Jo Schmeiser, the executive director of the chamber.

DMI President Peggy Reilly added, “I know the city has been doing it for quite a long time. The chamber and DMI are getting together to help them this year.”

She urged all locals interested in volunteering to come out.

These two organizations were also hoping to help the city host the event in 2020, but their plans were scuttled by the pandemic.

Ms. Schmeiser strongly urged everyone who plans on participating to register by sending an email to milfordcleanup@gmail.com or calling the chamber (422-3344) or DMI (839-1180).

The first 200 people to sign up will receive a free commemorative, high-visibility T-shirt. In addition, Milford Church of God will provide a light breakfast and other refreshments to participants.

Ms. Schmeiser added that those looking to get official credit for volunteering can ask for a letter certifying their contribution.

The event will look slightly different from past iterations.

“Because of COVID, we’re not going to have any opening ceremony per se because everybody would be together,” Ms. Schmeiser said.

Furthermore, a flyer for the event urges potential participants to “mask up” and “stay two litter grabbers apart — that’s about six feet.”

Ms. Schmeiser said Milford’s Parks & Recreation department, which has traditionally put on the event, will coordinate where different volunteers will go. Advance registration makes this process much easier for those staff members.

She said keeping the town clean is an important part of making a good impression on visitors, many of whom are potential investors in the city or future Milfordians.

“If new people especially are coming into the area, and the first thing they see is trash on the roads, it’s not a good day,” Ms. Schmeiser said.

“My nieces were here with me over the weekend. We spent the whole day walking (around town),” she said. “My one niece said, ‘I just love it here. It’s such a quaint town.’”

But this niece, who is in her 20s, did have one piece of constructive criticism: “You know, Aunt Jo, it could be a little cleaner.”

That’s when Ms. Schmeiser told her about the upcoming cleanup.

Ms. Reilly said the event is as much about making an impact on that one Saturday as it is encouraging people to keep their city clean year-round.

“I think it’s a way for the community to see that people are coming together to clean up in any way they can (and to) get people to be aware and do it on their own during the course of the year,” she said.

Ms. Reilly is expecting a lot of helpful volunteers.

“Based on my knowledge of people being locked in their houses for the past year, the more we can do outside, the more we will get people to come and help,” she said. “They just want something to do.”