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Wood River Valley Gears Up for ERC's 27th Annual Clean Sweep
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Team Zenergy collected a hefty amount of trash at the 2023 Clean Sweep.
   
Friday, May 3, 2024
 

BY KEITH WILSON and KAREN BOSSICK

The Environmental Resource Center’s 27th Clean Sweep will take place on Saturday, May 4. This annual event rides again into the Wood River Valley’s scenic homeland with the aim of minimizing waste accumulation and fostering a culture of environmental stewardship.

At 9 a.m. those who wish to help beautify the valley can gather at one of three designated spots to choose a spot to clean up and pick up trash bags. Those places are:

The ERC office at 471 Washington

Hop Porter Park at 126 Bullion St. in Hailey

Bellevue Memorial Park between Cedar and Elm streets

At each station community members will be provided with gloves, trash bags, and maps, along with coffee and morning snacks. Participants are encouraged to bring refillable water bottles, reusable garden or work gloves and, while work on the highway is not encouraged, vests will be provided if needed.

Photograph memorable moments and the odd, huge and surprising items found along the way and share them on social media with the hashtag #ERCcleansweep2024 for a chance to win prizes.

The Bellevue group is led this year by Bellevue Council Member Jessica Obenauf and businesses such as BURA. And participants will be rewarded with lunch from La Cabanita and live music from the Hurdy Girls from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bellevue Memorial Park.

"Citizens of Bellevue were looking for a way to encourage clean-up efforts this Spring,” said Kat Vanden Heuvel, the ERC’s interim director. “ERC Clean Sweep is a community tradition already in place that made sense to build upon so, when Jessica reached out, it just made sense to collaborate.

“The businesses and volunteers in Bellevue are coming together as a community and adding their own flavor to it, encouraging even more participation. This is ultimately what the ERC is about--inspiring action to create a healthy environment, so kudos to Bellevue this year, and all the other participants coming together in Hailey and Ketchum."

Vanden Heuvel said that Clean Sweep’s primary objective is to unite the community in the collective effort of cleaning up the natural spaces in the place Wood River Valley residents call home.

“The event holds significant importance as it plays a crucial role in minimizing waste accumulation and fostering a culture of environmental stewardship,” she said.

Clean Sweep helps highlight the amount of waste the Wood River Valley community produces, Vanden Heuvel added.

“When you choose to pay attention to the litter, dog waste, improperly disposed of or forgotten items that you see, it can be a real eye-opening experience,” she said. “We hope everyone involved feels more empowered to be vigilant about removing these items as they see them, maintaining a healthier environment for wildlife, aquatic life, our flora and, ultimately, us.”

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