Saturday will mark the kick-off of Brazil Summer Clean-Up Days as part of an effort to improve the overall appearance of the city.
"This is a good way for the community to get involved and motivate them to help clean up Brazil," City Planning Administrator Stacy Gibbens said. "This is a completely volunteer effort, but we felt there could be more involvement if there was more of a neighborhood focus rather than trying to clean up the entire city all at once."
Gibbens said the cleanups will be centralized in a separate ward once a month through September, with Ward 2 being the focus on Saturday. Ward 2 consists of neighborhoods from Forest Avenue west to Depot Street, and from National Avenue north to Normandy Street.
"I felt that this was a feasible project even before I took office," Common Council of the City of Brazil member (Ward 2) Sam Glover told The Brazil Times. "This is a great thing and I have spoke to some residents who are excited about it. We are trying it out in my ward first and hopefully it will go well."
Clean-up days for the other wards in Brazil have not been set, but Mayor Ann Bradshaw said community involvement in projects like these are important in continuing to enhance the appearance of the city.
"I have received some comments lately saying the city is looking better," Bradshaw said. "There is still a lot that can be done and the cleanup days will make a big improvement in the neighborhoods."
Gibbens said Wallace Bros., Inc. is providing a dumpster and the Clay-Owen-Vigo Solid Waste District is donating some gloves and trash bags for the effort.
"We are asking residents who plan to volunteer that day to leave the trash bags out by the curb," she said. "Park Board Vice-President Todd Brackman, along with the help of Avenue Broadband, will be driving trucks through the neighborhoods to pick up the bags of trash."
Gibbens added the city is encouraging church and other community organizations to get involved as well.
"I have spoken to (First United Methodist Church) Pastor Tony Alstott, and his church's youth group is planning to help out as well," Gibbens said. "This is a community effort and hopefully it will help people feel they are making a difference in making their neighborhoods look nice."
The city will also be assisting residents who may not have the means to complete some work around their respective homes.
"If someone has a financial or physical hardship and they are unable to do yard work, but would like some help, they can call me and we will come out and mow yards or pick up trash," Gibbens told The Brazil Times. "Right now, we have one yard on the list we are planning to mow, but we will not go on someone's property without their permission."
Glover said getting the community involved in the beautification of the city could possibly lead to a greater sense of appreciation about living in Brazil.
"Making this a neighborhood effort could lead to improved enthusiasm from the residents and hopefully create a better sense of pride in living in the city," he said.
Those interested in volunteering during Saturday's event are asked to meet at 11 a.m., in the parking lot of the Brazil Public Library, 204 N. Walnut St.
How can you help?
Individuals or organizations interested in pre-registering as volunteers, or those who would like the city to assist them in cleaning up or mowing their yard due to a financial or physical hardship during the Brazil Summer Clean-Up Days, may contact Stacy Gibbens at 446-0050 or email@example.com.