• 81°

Leadership Lafayette needs Community Cleanup Challenge volunteers

Leadership Lafayette will host the first-ever Community Cleanup Challenge event next Saturday, May 19.

Volunteer teams will gather at Bailey Branch Park on Office Park Drive at 8 a.m. for a send-off, and the event will end around noon. Then, they will travel to designated roads across the LOU Community to gather litter. The teams who gather the most trash will be awarded with cash prizes.

Michelle Robinson, team leader and recycling coordinator for the City of Oxford, said the project will be a great way to give people of all ages a chance to help beautify their community.

“I felt like this would be a good way to get the community involved,” Robinson said. “Also a good way to network with people I have not worked with before through Keep Oxford-Lafayette County Beautiful.”

Leadership Lafayette is encouraging groups of five or more to sign up, especially sports teams and civic groups.

Lydia Kolhai, with Oxford Homeschoolers, said her group decided to sign up for the project, because it was a chance to reinforce their curriculum and take care of a place the group holds dear.

“We do a weekly forest school at the Whirlpool Trails, and we talked about how there’s a lot of trash that accumulates over there,” Kolhai said. “Our families typically value caring for the earth, so this activity ties into what we’re already doing.”

Another group that is participating in the Community Cleanup Challenge is the OTC Alumni from Oxford Treatment Center. Brian Whisenant, Community Relations Representative for OTC and a member of Leadership Lafayette, said the project will benefit group members, as well as the rest of the community.

The OTC Alumni group gathers for a monthly community outing, such as attending a sporting event or bringing lunch to OPD officers. Participating in a volunteer event like the Community Cleanup Challenge is something Whisenant said is a way for people in recovery to give back to the community where they live and work. OTC Alumni will be picking up litter along Anchorage Road, a decision the group made after realizing it was a high-traffic area that needed attention.

“The idea is, we want to pick a place that has lots of garbage so we can win, but we also want a safe place for our alumni,” he said. “We picked Anchorage Road because it’s off the beaten path, but still sees a lot of traffic, especially during the week.”

Slots are still available for the Community Cleanup Challenge, and groups are welcome to sign up until the day of the event.

For more information, to donate or sign up, visit the Community Cleanup Challenge Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/oxfordcommunitycleanupchallenge, or email Michelle Robinson at mrobinson@oxfordms.net.