Elma Enhance set to return this weekend

City officials and local volunteers to help clean up trash-ridden areas

Put on some gloves and grab a trash bag, it’s time to pick up the neighborhood.

With Earth Day right around the corner, it’s not unusual to see community-led and city-led efforts to spruce up the areas many people call home. That’s the case for one East County town.

This weekend, the second annual Elma Enhance is set to occur. The event, which City Councilman Josh Collette orchestrated and began last year, will feature a collective effort from local organizations, city officials and Elma residents to clean up garbage along the streets around the town.

Jillanna Bickford, who serves as the Elma Chamber of Commerce Director as well as one of the organizers of the event, expressed her excitement about the number of people signed up to contribute and that certain areas in Elma are going to be a priority for cleaning.

“This year we have over 150 people signed up so far which is more than double what we saw last year,” Bickford said. “Outside of Pine Street and Strawberry Hill, the on and off ramps are going to be a big spot that needs a cleanup because DOT (Department of Transportation) can’t always take on every one of them all year round so we’re going to help there as well.”

Bickford also noted that the event will also work in tandem with Elevate East County Coalition as they are hosting a “medication take-back” at Elma Pharmacy in recognition of National Drug Take Back Day. Other local businesses, such as Dennis Company, Harbor Pacific and Living Dead Tattoo Company will be donating materials such as trash bags and orange shirts among other items to assist in the cleanup. Lunch, which will consist of pulled pork tacos, is set to be provided by the Bethany Baptist Church following the conclusion of the event.

“With last year being our first time doing this, we weren’t sure about what exactly we were going to do, but I think with what some people saw last year and getting the word out for the event a lot differently than we did last year, this should be successful,” Bickford explained.

For people who are interested in participating in the Elma Enhance cleanup, the event will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at the Elma High School parking lot to gather supplies, meet team leaders and learn which area will need to be cleaned. With the event scheduled to commence rain or shine, volunteers are recommended to dress based on the forecast weather for the day.

While signing up for the event is not required to participate in the Elma Enhance cleanup, Bickford was adamant that it helps plan out how much food and drinks to bring. For more information or to sign up for Elma Enhance, Bickford encourages people to contact her at 360-482-3055 or elmachamber@gmail.com.

Contact Reporter Allen Leister at 360-463-3572 or allen.leister@thedailyworld.com