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Cleanup efforts praised in Westfield, Fredonia

Ann Gollnitz helps clean up in Westfield.

As the spring season comes into bloom, it is also the season for local communities to rally together and clean up the places they call home. Thanks to Partners in Kind, these kinds of cleanups were huge successes in both Fredonia and Westfield.

For the Fredonia cleanup, Larry Fiorella and a group of 30 volunteers went all throughout the streets and parking lots of Fredonia, picking up bags and bags of trash.

“People were assigned an area they wanted to go to,” Fiorella said. “We registered at Barker Common, passed out gloves, trash bags, and masks if they needed it. Tim Hortons donated donuts and coffee, and Home Depot donated gloves, masks, bags and hand sanitizer.”

And the groups in Fredonia covered some ground. People went to the upper and lower parts of Russell Joy Park, both sides of the Barker Park, Main Street, the parking lots behind the Main Street restaurants, up and down Temple, and a group even went to D&F Plaza, where the most amounts of trash were found.

“They probably collected 10 to 12 large garbage bags behind D&F Plaza,” Fiorella said. “They all had two bags a piece after the first trip and they went back and got five more.”

From left is Richard Chase, Elena Marsala, James Ruch and Andrew Webster, all of whom participated in the Westfield cleanup.

Six bags of trash were collected from Barker Commons, and it included all kinds of things, like a muffler and broken lawn chair. All of this was picked up even after the Infinity Dance Troupe went up and down Fredonia’s streets earlier in April.

Fredonia’s cleanup lasted from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 24 and was greatly needed according to Fiorella. The event took a couple weeks to organize, and was spread on both the Partners in Kind Facebook page, and eventually Fiorella’s personal page as well.

“It was really received well,” Fiorella said. People came back several times to get more bags and go to different sections. It was very engaging and most people stuck around until 1 to do the work. People were really grateful for the coffee and donuts too.”

Similar to Fredonia, the Westfield cleanup was also a huge success. Leah Chase-Marsala, partnered with the village of Westfield’s Recreation Director Andrew Webster, organized a group of 24 people to clean up the streets of Westfield at 10 a.m. on that same Saturday, and although Partners in Kind doesn’t have a huge Westfield representation, community members and Westfield Academy helped bolster the turnout.

“We had members of the school environmental club and a couple representatives from the Key Club,” Marsala Chase said. “Except for three of us, all of the volunteers were members of the community.”

All in all, volunteers at the Village of Westfield picked up north of 10 bags of trash from the various streets and parking lots around the Village, as volunteers split up to tackle different areas. Marsala-Chase estimates they were done pretty quickly thanks to the influx of youth help.

“We were done by probably noon, if not sooner,” Marsala-Chase said. “It helps to have all those young kids, I was really excited.”

And even those who couldn’t show up for the cleanup were vocal about making those who did feel the appreciation for making the Village of Westfield that much nicer.

“People were excited that it was even happening, and the community members especially were so grateful,” Marsala-Chase said. “We had lots of positive feedback on social media, I just posted a thank you to everyone that showed up and it got a lot of comments. We had some people that didn’t come thank us, and some people driving by would give us their support as well.”

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