Following a particularly long winter, a new initiative is hoping people are ready to get back outside and join neighbors in an effort to do some collective spring cleaning.
The first Village Green Clean will be held Saturday, April 18, which is meant to compliment Earth Day. Residents and business owners can volunteer to clean up village streets, parks and neighborhoods from 10 a.m. to noon, along with recycling collections for several different items until 2 p.m. at the Voorheesville Volunteer Fire Department. A community gathering will also be held from noon to 2 p.m. at the firehouse as a thank you for volunteers, though anyone is welcome, with music, food, refreshments and activities for kids.
Village Deputy Clerk Karen Finnessey worked with local businesswomen Kaela Knoth, Kait Lyons and Amanda Scalzo to plan the event, which includes a balloon raffle fundraiser to support the Helderview Garden Club, which maintains flower boxes across the village.
“People in Voorheesville are very proud of the community and the DPW does an absolutely wonderful job maintaining the village,” Finnessey said, “but I just thought if some of the residents took some of the responsibility onto themselves they might think twice about (littering).”
Finnessey said people she talked to about the event seemed enthusiastic and she is hoping residents embrace the new event, which could become an annual activity to build community pride. “I am confident that the roadside cleanup will be good,” she said.
Some areas where clean up efforts are being focused on include along the far end of Voorheesville Avenue, Grove Street and Prospect Street. A few youth groups are also being sought to help clean parks while adults handle streets. Homeowners could also use the two hours to rake or clean up their front lawn.
The three women helping Finnessey plan the event thought to expand it into a fundraising effort, along with holding the after cleanup appreciation activities.
“They decided they would like to try to get the local businesses involved and agreed to contact all of the businesses,” said Finnessey. “We got quite a few who are participating, not only monetarily, but to go out and clean up.”
The recycling collection will be accepting batteries, books and magazines, clothing and textiles, and plastics bags and films.
While all types of batteries will be accepted the emphasis is on car batteries. TJ’s Auto & Truck Parts (NAPA) will be overseeing the collection and the business will donate $3 to the garden club for every vehicle battery that is donated.
Books and other reading materials in good condition will be donated to The Albany Book Project, a literacy initiative collecting books to be given to individuals who are homeless, living in a shelter, or don’t have the resources to obtain books of their own. Paper products not collected for donation, such as notebooks and folders, will go to the village’s GreenFiber recycling program
The American Clothing Recycling Company will have a truck ready to collect unwanted articles of clothing and linens. Even articles of clothing considered not good enough to wear anymore due to wear and tear can be recycled. Donations can be in any condition as long as it is clean, dry and odorless, which includes shoes, bathmats, underwear, stuffed animals and other miscellaneous items.
The plastic bags being collected can be much more than the traditional grocery bag. There are a few rules, which include bags and wrap being clean and dry with all strings, rigid plastic, zipper mechanisms and food residue removed. Examples of donations include newspaper bags, plastic cereal bags, plastic wrap from toilet paper packaging and dry cleaning bags.
Anyone interested in participating with the village clean up can contact Finnessey at Village Hall by calling 765-2692, or emailing her at [email protected] She can also answer questions on what is being accepted during the recycling collection.