Great American Cleanup|With month left, KVWB seeking more sites

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 2, 2009

Heading into the final month of the Great American Cleanup, organizers are looking for more sites and volunteers.

To help

Keep Vicksburg-Warren Beautiful is seeking volunteers and sites for the final month of the Great American Cleanup. To help, e-mail Holley Simrall at

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The local effort, spearheaded by Keep Vicksburg-Warren Beautiful, began March 1 and will run through May 31. During March and April, at least 60 volunteers showed up to clean and beautify five sites around Vicksburg. One site was nixed from the list because the job required professional expertise.

“We are pleased with the response we’ve gotten from different groups who have come to clean up,” said KVWB Executive Director Holley Simrall. “This is a great time of year to get out in the yard and beautify the community.”

In years past, the cleanup was conducted in one day. In a February planning meeting, Simrall noted that the number of volunteers had dwindled in the past decade, but could not provide specific numbers.

“I like doing it this way,” Simrall said of the three-month-long effort. “Though the response seemed small, it was more effective.”

At the first cleanup — March 18 at the Firehouse Gallery, headquarters of the Vicksburg Art Association — 14 volunteers from KVWB and Greater Grove Street Baptist Church showed up.

“As long as we know about something, we’ll make an announcement and our students will come out and help,” said Terrance James, the church’s youth instructor.

The Firehouse Gallery cleanup was scheduled during the Vicksburg Warren School District’s intercession week, a time when some students get a week off from classes and some attend remediation sessions.

“The fact that I can come help the community is a privilege,” said Vicksburg High School junior Jaron Smith, the son of Alfred Smith and Marie Smith. “I’m glad we had a big number of people come out — especially during break week.”

In addition to the Great American Cleanup, KVWB a year ago donated 10 cigarette-butt receptacles for the City of Vicksburg to place along Washington Street. KVWB purchased the receptacles with a $2,500 grant from Keep America Beautiful and Philip Morris, the largest tobacco corporation in the country.

KVWB has conducted two counts of cigarette butts along the downtown shopping and eating thoroughfare. Simrall noted major improvements, but could not provide statistics.


Contact Manivanh Chanprasith at