Schenectady firefighter Marc Karl picked up a large black trash bag full of telephone books Saturday and tossed it into the back of a pickup truck.
Karl was helping Deputy Fire Chief Michael O’Clair clean a lot at the intersection of Hamilton Street and Georgetta Dix Plaza that was littered with trash, including a helium tank, Lowes bucket, Popeyes Chicken box and many other items.
The firefighters were joining a group of residents from the Hamilton Hill neighborhood and the mayor’s office who met at Jerry Burrell Park and spread out to other streets in the area with bags and rakes in hand.
The cleanup effort was much larger than just that neighborhood – residents throughout the city and the county spent the day cleaning parks and streets.
Other areas of the city that participated were:
- Steinmetz Park in the Goose Hill neighborhood.
- Riverside Park in the Stockade neighborhood.
- Central Park in the Upper Union neighborhood .
- Woodlawn Park in the Woodlawn neighborhood.
- Victory Avenue and Chestnut Street in the Vale neighborhood.
“I love my neighborhood,” said city Councilwoman Marion Porterfield before handing out gloves and trash bags to volunteers. “I think it’s important to take care of where we live.”
Just down from where the two firefighters were cleaning, Molain Gilmore worked to clean a stretch of the sidewalk, not far from her home.
“It’s terrible,” she said of all the trash lingering around.
She got frustrated recalling how people would leave a store near her house, open the items they bought and toss the wrappers on her lawn or right near it.
In Niskayuna, a group of students met to clean up Blatnick Park. In Glenville residents took to picking up trash as Fran Pugliese joined other Rotterdam Park Committee members, volunteers and some Town Board officials to beautify Kiwanis Park.
“It’s a labor of love,” he said.
He also said every year it gets a little easier cleaning the park, with less trash to pick up and more volunteers joining in to keep the park nice. He said the goal is to keep the park looking nice so people will continue to visit it and other parks in town.