August 30, 2009 12:17:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- With the first Mississippi State University home football game less than a week away, the Greater Starkville Development Partnership is calling on volunteers to help clean up the city.
The sixth annual Get Swept Up campaign will take place Wednesday throughout Starkville. Participants will take to the streets to pick up trash and recyclables.
This will be the first year the Greater Starkville Development Partnership will work with the Green Starkville organization to recycle cans, cardboard, newspaper and other items, rather than just throwing them away with the trash.
More than 500 people took part in the Get Swept Up event last year and similar numbers are expected Wednesday, said GSDP Vice President of Membership and Community Development Allison Matthews. Volunteers can sign up by contacting the Partnership at 662-323-3322 or stopping by their office at 200 E. Main St. in downtown Starkville.
"We will not turn away any volunteers (the day of the event), but we have encouraged folks to let us know early because this is a strategic effort to place volunteers all around our city to pick up in teams," Matthews said.
City residents also are being asked to "spruce up" their homes, whether it means performing landscaping work or just flying Mississippi State University flags.
Matthews hopes the event will give visitors a positive impression of the city.
"The impact is significant, not only in terms of the trash that is removed from our city streets, but also because the volunteers who are involved really get a positive experience from this event," Matthews said. "It helps our community feel more of a sense of pride. It also has real impact when visitors come in and see a clean Starkville. They take away a great impression of our town, so there is even an economic impact from this effort."
Volunteer team leaders will gather at the GSDP office Wednesday at 8 a.m. to gather supplies, such as bags and T-shirts. Then they''ll distribute the items to their teams and take to the streets.