Downtown sidewalks got an Earth Day clean-up Sunday as Main Street Wellington and the Lorain County Volunteer Connection pitched in.
Earth Day was of course Saturday, but volunteers gathered the following afternoon on West Herrick Avenue to remove cigarette butts from the walkway and curbs in front of businesses.
“The village maintains the public areas, but some of our business owners and some of our vacant spaces need some help,” said Main Street director Jenny Arntz. “Hopefully, we’ll figure out how to get into some of the window wells to get trash and leaves out.”
Residents Walt and Chris Offerman, who regularly serve as referees at Dukes sporting events, joined in the cleanup.
“If someone doesn’t teach people how to do this stuff, it never gets done,” said Walt. “There seems to be a lack of energy among people anymore, so someone has to do it. We just want to make things nice down here. With flicking a cigarette butt, people are always going to follow the path of least resistance, the easiest way. If it doesn’t affect them, they really don’t worry about it, unfortunately.”
“This is a wonderful community and we want to make it better,” Chris said. “We want to make it cleaner. We want to get people back down here.”
Artnz said cigarette litter is annoying. She dealt with it while managing a Pennsylvania apartment complex and went as far as putting a container for cigarettes outside of every apartment. “It ended up making almost zero difference with how many were on the ground,” she said.
The Lorain County Volunteer Connection is formed through a partnership between the United Way of Lorain County and Hands-On Northeast Ohio. Director of programs Alyssa Thompson and a pair of volunteers from North Ridgeville and North Olmsted supplemented Main Street’s efforts.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.