By Josh Troy
The City of Clarksdale will hold a cleanup week covering the entire community from March 26 to April 1. National Cleanup Week is also from March 26 to April 1, and local organizations throughout Clarksdale will organize cleanup events. Quapaw Canoe Co.’s annual Sunflower River cleanup in February that extended through downtown Clarksdale inspired the city to have a similar weeklong event. “When they (Quapaw Canoe Co.) did that one, I participated in it,” said Clarksdale Director of Personnel, Safety, and Marketing Tarra Slack. “I said this is something we need to do all over the city, so I proposed it to the executive committee (mayor and department heads), and they agreed to go forward with it.”
Slack enjoyed Quapaw Canoe Co.’s cleanup and expects the city’s to go just as well. “It was so exhilarating being out there and getting in some exercise, taking in nature, and being a part of positive change in the community,” she said. “The before and after was rewarding, and I wanted everybody to have an opportunity to experience that.” Slack said the city’s cleanup could boost morale throughout Clarksdale.
“Clarksdale is a beautiful city,” she said. “It has a lot of natural appeal, but when trash litters our streets, you don’t see the true splendor. When our city looks better, people feel better, and it sparks civic pride organically.” The Clarksdale Beautification Committee’s last city cleanup was in 2018, but the COVID pandemic kept it from continuing. A Clarksdale High School group doing community service then organized a cleanup in 2019.
Lisa Fisher, the assistant to Mayor Chuck Espy, encouraged more young citizens to participate in the cleanups. “It’s really important to get the younger students so they can take pride in the community and want to beautify the place where they live,” Fisher said. Assistant Director of Public Works Craig Amerson said Spruce, East Tallahatchie, Sixth and Seventh street, and Maple and Oakurst avenue are areas the city will target during the weeklong cleanup.
“It’s normally where most of the trash is,” Amerson said. “Some of them are kind of side streets, and that’s where people throw stuff out of their windows and stuff of that nature.” Amerson added that throwing trash on side streets in any community is common. Slack is calling for community participation during the cleanup.
“We’re encouraging each citizen to take care of his or her own property during that week doing a spring cleaning,” she said. Also, we’re encouraging people to have a spirit of helpfulness to assist neighbors who may not be able to put in that kind of physical labor in their yards, of course, with their permission. We’re encouraging groups to tackle larger and more public areas and to be assigned a specific area and can contact the mayor’s office.” Anyone looking for more information about the cleanup may contact the mayor’s office at (662) 621-8164.