Niagara Gazette — With May the start of tourist season, the Niagara Beautification Commission decided Saturday would be the best time to hold its annual clean up day. Unfortunately, for at least the third consecutive year, Mother Nature and the weather gods couldn’t find it in their hearts to provide warmth and clear skies for the volunteers.
This year was threatened with rain, while last year’s cleanup was hampered by snow in late April. The year before, volunteers were poured on as they hit the streets. It’s left organizers wondering when the right time would be to pick up the winter’s trash.
“May is the start of the tourist season, so we’ve got to clean it up,” Roger Spurback said. “It’s not going to be in June, it’ll always be sometime in May. Before Memorial Day.”
Despite the threat of rain this year, though, the turnout wasn’t as low as it could’ve been, according to organizer Norma Higgs. Higgs has been involved in organizing the cleanup effort since it began and know what a great group and a not-so-great crowd looks like.
This year, she said the size of the crew that showed up to help was “just okay.” But those who did participate put real dents in some of the city’s neighborhoods, like Echota, near Hyde Park.
That’s where, she said, most of the streets were cleaned by a number of volunteers. Some came from the neighborhood, others from nearby companies. But they all did their best to spruce up the area by removing the litter.
“They worked hard there,” she said. “There was a lot on Porter Road. There were some people on Main Street including the mayor’s people. But (in Echota), they really had a lot of stuff. They were all over. In the area, they did a good job.”