Londonderry hopes to see a little more roadside pride
LONDONDERRY - Despite last year's low turnout, organizers for Londonderry's annual Roadside Pride event are springing forward with their plans to beautify the town this season.
This year's Roadside Pride will take place over the course of three Saturdays - April 6, 13 and 20 - event organizer Carol Tomaselli said.
Last year, members of Londonderry's Anti-Littering Advisory Committee held their first Roadside Pride event in hopes of encouraging their neighbors to give them a hand in picking up litter along the roadsides.
The committee was formed about 2½ years ago, made up of people who got tired of seeing trash strewn about their town. In an effort to carry the cleanup a bit further, committee members then decided to plan a townwide effort, enlisting citizens and students to help out.
Things didn't go exactly as planned last year. During the first Saturday cleanup, no one showed up to help, Tomaselli said.
The following week, committee members coerced some friends and family to help them out, while the final week showed some promise when members of Londonderry High School's "Pay It Forward" Club, along with staff adviser Katie Sullivan, joined the cause.
"So we debated whether we should try doing this again," Tomaselli said this week. "But here we are."
She said those who did help out last year managed to fill 140 bags with litter gathered from town streets.
For three consecutive Saturday mornings at 9 a.m., volunteers will gather in the Londonderry High School parking lot, where committee members will present them with gloves, safety vests and trash bags along with their respective road assignments.
In the day's leading up to the event, the committee members are working hard to spread the word.
Tomaselli said announcements have been airing on the town's local access cable channels, with members of the high school video club lending their talents.
The Londonderry Rotary Club has sponsored a banner, which will soon be hung over Mammoth Road, while members of the Pay It Forward Club hope to make a return appearance this year.
"It seems that when committee members pick up a roadside, we get lots of beeps from passing cars and pats on the back from strangers," Tomaselli said. "Let's hope that translates into more volunteers this year."
For more information, visit the Litter-Free Londonderry page on Facebook.