By Alex Bridges -- firstname.lastname@example.org
STRASBURG -- Larry Haun is warning litter bugs that spring cleaning hits town next week.
Hometown Strasburg plans to hold its second annual town-wide Clean-Up Day April 21. Organizers intend to focus their efforts on areas around the roads leading into and out of Strasburg as well as streets in the town limits.
"I hope it will make the town look much better and I hope it will instill some pride in the town," said Haun, chairman of the group's clean-up day committee..
The town needs a clean-up, according to Haun.
"All you have to do is drive out Route 11 south and go up Fishers Hill, look carefully on either side of the road, drive out to Route 55 west, look on either side of the road, drive almost any road that leaves Strasburg and you will find it littered with trash," Haun said.
U.S. 11 northbound toward the Interstate 81 interchange is "heavily littered," according to Haun. Pockets of litter exist around Strasburg as well and Haun recalled recently cleaning up much of the town's west end, where he collected 15 bags of trash.
Many of the seven or eight streams which run through Strasburg also appear heavily littered, Haun said. Streams in town flow eventually into the Shenandoah River and all are considered part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, Haun advised.
Litter accumulates at the town park and along Main Street and King Street, as well as Queen Street and the railroad tracks, according Haun.
"Every time I go downtown I find litter on the street," Haun said.
Hometown Strasburg organized the first clean-up last year and numerous civic groups and individuals joined in the effort. Volunteers collected 232, 33-gallon bags of trash, Haun said.
"So we made a pretty good dent because it had never been cleaned up before in the history of the town, at least since while I've been living here," Haun said. "So we found lots and lots of trash. We won't find nearly that much this year. We hope not."
Those interested in participating in the clean-up can contact Haun at 465-3455 or by e-mail at email@example.com for more information. Haun said he can assign a person to cover a street or other nearby area.
The landfill requires trash collected for the clean-up program be placed in the special orange plastic bags, according to Haun. Bags are available at Strasburg High School. The group also will be collecting used tires, two of which counts as one bag of trash, Haun said.
Hometown Strasburg received $1,200 for the effort thanks to a program through the Shenandoah County landfill, according to Haun. The organization then takes the money to implement its town improvement programs. Hometown Strasburg installed the town's pocket park next to the drug store downtown, which it also maintains. The organization plants flowers and makes other efforts to beautify downtown, Haun noted.
Residents and property owners also can help in the clean-up by clearing litter from their homes, businesses and neighborhoods either on the day of the event or throughout the rest of April and May, according to Haun. Last year Haun recalled a resident of a community in the town led an effort to clean that neighborhood.
"You know that would go a long way if everybody or if a large fraction of people in town, residents and business owners, just simply cleaned up their own property and then walked out on the street where they have their business or residence and clean up some areas around where they live," Haun said. "You know it wouldn't take too much effort to walk up and down your block and just pick up trash."