Keeping Hopewell Beautiful
By Caitlin Davis
Sep 5, 2012, 11:52
photo by Caitlin Davis Tommy Meadows, the newest member of Keep Hopewell Beautiful, collects garbage along Appomattox Street.
Armed with green trash bags, orange vests and grabbers, four members of Keep Hopewell Beautiful took to the streets to help clean up Hopewell on Wednesday night.
On a quarterly basis, Keep Hopewell Beautiful cleans up trash and debris along Appomattox Street between the Beacon Theatre and Cedar Lane.
As the group walked, they picked up empty bottles, empty cans, paper and even a hubcap. Although it’s been four months since the last cleanup, the groups said the trash bags were not as full this time, and to some, that is a good sign for the city.
“We didn’t gather a lot,” Carolyn Whitlock, with Keep Hopewell Beautiful, said. “I want to compliment the people of Appomattox Street for keeping it clean.”
After the clean-up, the members held a meeting at Appomattox Regional Library to discuss citywide cleanup effort and Hooray for Hopewell.
The citywide cleanup is scheduled to take place between Oct. 13 and Oct. 20.
photo by Caitlin Davis
Cheryl Collins, vice chairman of Keep Hopewell Beautiful, wants this year’s cleanup to be bigger than before.
“We, as Keep Hopewell Beautiful, can make this much bigger,” Collins said. “We need to work together through this bigger cleanup.”
Collins told the group to reach out to social media outlets to advertise for the cleanup and to advertise in local newspapers and put up flyers around town.
She also noted that the convenience center in Hopewell has changed its hours from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. during the week.
Tommy Meadows, the newest member of Keep Hopewell Beautiful, who was appointed to the committee at the Aug. 14 City Council meeting, suggested reaching out to the plants in Hopewell to help provide sponsorship for the cleanup.
Meadows is looking forward to working with the committee. He said he has lived here his entire life and wants a change in the community.
“I got so disgusted with what I saw in my own neighborhood,” Meadows said. “I joined so I could offer a whole lot more and do more things.”
Meadows wants to have a hand in improving Hopewell’s reputation.
“I just want to improve Hopewell’s reputation for being a dump,” he said. “I’d like to do something to change it.”
Jasmine Gore, a member of Keep Hopewell Beautiful who is also running for a seat on City Council, gave another suggestion to reach out to local companies to try and find people who are in need of volunteer hours for internships.
The group continued brainstorming on how to make the upcoming citywide cleanup a success and bigger than last year.
“I like big; let’s do it big and do it right,” Collins said.
The group also discussed Hooray for Hopewell, coming up on Sept. 22 and 23. Keep Hopewell Beautiful has a booth at the event with information on recycling and keeping the city clean.
Gore said the materials for the event should focus on educating young children. Gore, who is the educational liaison for the committee, has many ideas on how to encourage children to help keep Hopewell clean.
“We want to add an environmental element during career day,” she said. “We want them to be more hands on, as opposed to boring lessons, like going to community events to catch them early on.”
Currently, Gore has been having discussions with Hopewell City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. John Fahey to get students involved through service learning projects and volunteer work, she said.
“We definitely want to continue reaching out to keep Hopewell beautiful,” Gore said. “We want students to volunteer with us so they can get experience and learn the importance of keeping Hopewell clean.”
Keep Hopewell Beautiful is also working with the city to clean up more streets. At the city council meeting on Aug. 14, the committee challenged the councilors to have 10 streets adopted in their wards in 30 days. Currently, Ward 1 has 7 adoptions, Ward 2 with 2, Ward 3 with 1, Ward 4 with 3, Ward 5 with 1 and Ward 6 and 7 with zero each.
Collins hopes to see those adoptions come to light.
“We want people to take pride in their yards and have respect for their neighborhoods,” Collins said.
The committee is currently seeking more members. There are currently four vacancies on the committee. Interested parties should visit hopewellva.gov, download and fill out the talent bank resume and turn it into Ann Romano at the city municipal building at 300 N. Main St.