Downtown Clean-Up: Workers hit the streets of Meridian
DOWNTOWN CLEAN UP – Eddie Kelly, left, Ufa Burn and Everett Robinson dig away growth near curbs on Fifth Street on Friday while Danyell Lowe bags the debris and other trash during the first day of the Downtown Clean-Up campaign. The cleanup continues today. PHOTO by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star
By William F. West / community editor
October 19, 2002
The sounds of scraping could be heard several yards down Front Street east of Union Station.
Bill Gavin on Friday was one of a group of people who spent part of the day edging and tidying up trying to make downtown Meridian look a little better.
A few feet away, Gavin's wife of 47 years, Glenda, trimmed back grass. Glenda is a retired radio saleswoman and sales manager.
The couple was part of a group of residents and downtown business employees that participated in the first Downtown Clean-Up. Work continues today.
Volunteers worked in an area bordered by Front and 14th streets and 17th and 26th avenues. Volunteers also worked Front Street Extension to the intersection of Fifth and Sixth streets.
Much of the work was done in groups, such as four employees from Citizens National Bank who did their best to clean an aging, cracking sidewalk on Front Street.
Knox said the work was not hard, despite getting pricked a bit by bushes and stung by a bee.
Up the hill on 10th Street, a team of Weems Mental Health Center employees used clippers to rescue a crape myrtle that had been choked by briars and vines.
The Weems team, like other volunteers, also encountered more than its share of bottles and trash during the cleanup.
Linda Besecka, an administrative assistant at Weems, offered this advice to smokers: "When you throw out a cigarette butt, that's litter."
The cleanup's task force chairman, Leslie York, said Friday she was pleased with the work.
Beverly Knox, coordinator for Keep Meridian/Lauderdale County Beautiful, said more than 100 volunteers worked downtown streets on Friday.