Phelps Neighborhood Association (PNA), working with Community Partnership of the Ozarks (CPO), held a neighbor cleanup day for Phelps Grove Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The event, which is a first for Phelps Grove when working with CPO, had nearly 30 volunteers come out with numerous trucks and trailers. They worked together to remove trash from the neighborhood by loading into giant dumpsters parked on a Missouri State lot.
“We brought the manpower and CPO brought the dumpsters,” said Eric Pauly, who is the current president of PNA. “We used to have a partnership with a local trash company, but that was a while ago.”
Current resident and longtime member of PNA, Nancy Danielsen, pointed out the timing of this event, right after school had gotten out for many college students, was no coincident.
She explained that many times with students, they will leave mattresses and couches on the curb when moving, thinking it will be picked up by the regular trash service. When it isn’t, the responsibility of removing that trash falls on someone it shouldn’t have to.
“I think this event is great and not only do I hope that homeowners use these dumpsters, but I also hope the students use it,” said Danielsen.
This event wasn't the first of its kind. According to Amanda Stadler, who works for CPO as a Neighborhood and Housing Stabilization specialist, there are 16 other different neighborhoods that hold similar annual cleanups .
“Partnerships like this, between a neighborhood association and CPO, are really good. We provide the funding which is used to get the large dumpsters here and the neighborhoods provide the volunteers,” she said. “One could not function without the other.”
It works like this: The city of Springfield provides funds to Community Partnership of the Ozarks, which in turn supports the neighborhoods in various ways, one of which is through these cleanups .
While this event was all about cleaning up the Phelps Grove neighborhood, it was not just the residents that volunteered. Numerous other groups, like Boy Scouts Pack 11 and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority also pitched in to help.
“One of our targets is environmental ownership and one way we achieve that target is through a project called the 1908 Playground Project where across the nation our sorority cleans 1908 communities,” said Dorothy McClendon who is a current member of the Springfield sorority.
The cleanup led to multiple dumpsters being filled with trash. While everyone that came ended up leaving covered in a fine layer of dirt, they did so knowing the neighborhood was that much cleaner.