Volunteers chipped into clean Austin

Published 6:45 pm Friday, April 28, 2023

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Nearly 70 volunteers of all ages braved the snow, wind and cold for Earth Day on April 22, to help clean public spaces in Austin.

The “Sprucing Up Austin” clean-up was organized by United Way of Mower County, Spruce Up Austin, Cedar River Watershed District and Austin Parks, Recreation & Forestry. 

This was the first time in some years that local organizers offered a one-day, community cleanup in which volunteers were assigned cleanup sites. It was inspired by the annual Community Pride Cleanup organized for years by Austin resident Lou Beckel.

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Volunteers more than filled the entire back of a Mower Soil and Water Conservation District truck. Mower SWCD and Parks & Recreation then handled the disposal of the garbage that included many plastic bottles, aluminum cans, cardboard, styrofoam, fast-food bags, fishing bait containers and much more. 

Among the areas cleaned by volunteers were Austin Mill Pond; Cedar River west of the Hormel Foods plant; public trails; East Side Lake’s main park area; Austin High and other school properties; Lafayette Park area; downtown streets; Riverside Arena parking lot; Ramsey Dam; and several parks.