Insider’s Look at Clean Up Akron Month

by Morgan Looney, Communications Intern

It’s officially April and that means that 1) Clean Up Akron Month has officially started and 2) I only have about five weeks left of my internship. With those two things in mind I thought that it would be cool to give an insider’s look into CUAM and some of the work we’ve been putting into it.

I started my internship in the middle of January and since then I’ve been working hard with the KAB team as we prepared for CUAM. The end of February and the entire month of March were the busiest as we put together registration packets, sent out marketing materials to many organizations and individuals in the community, finalized important details for specific CUAM events, put cleanup supplies together, and started getting those supplies out to our volunteers.

One of the events we’ve been finalizing details for has been Super Saturday, a volunteer appreciation picnic at the Akron Zoo. A few weeks ago, I participated in the walk-through of the event at the zoo with Helen, the Communications and Volunteer Project Manager, and the two co-chairs for Super Saturday, Willa and Shelby, who are former KAB interns. We reviewed where the picnic lunch would be, where the Awards Ceremony would be held, and also finalized details on things like food preparation, dropping supplies off, and volunteer arrival times.

While we did get a lot of things accomplished during the walk-through, it wasn’t just all work! Right before we left, we took a few minutes to stop the Penguin Exhibit. We were able to watch them swim around for a bit and while we certainly enjoyed seeing them and getting a much needed dose of cuteness, I think they enjoyed seeing us just as much! We can’t wait for our volunteers to have the opportunity to experience all that the Akron Zoo has to offer as a way to say, “thank you” for their hard work.

In between all of the work for Clean Up Akron Month, we’ve been doing other things like speaking to community organizations about Keep Akron Beautiful and what we do. Two weeks ago, Helen and I went to Ohio Living Rockynol to speak to the Philanthropic Education Organization and I was able to observe as Helen spoke about our various projects and programs like Flowerscape, the Dreamscape Raffle, and Clean Up Akron Month. It was a cool moment to get out of the office and see how speaking about these things can really raise awareness and understanding and illicit interest in these programs!

Back at the KAB office, we got to work putting together the supplies for the CUAM volunteers. Luckily we had some amazing help putting together these supplies! Students from North High School came in and helped us pack the supply bags for the volunteer groups who had already registered and additional bags of supplies that we anticipate we’ll need throughout the month.

Putting together supply bags.

We want to give a huge thank you to our North High School volunteers! It’s always such a great day when we have their smiling faces around to help us prepare for one of our busiest months of the year!

Our North High School volunteers!

Something I’m really looking forward to as I participate in my first ever CUAM is the cleanup at Summit Lake on April 22. The Summit Lake Cleanup is a huge cleanup that takes place the weekend before Super Saturday and a bunch of people get involved. The cleanup in 2016 had 166 volunteers, including members of the KAB team, that helped remove over 5 tons of litter from the lake as well as 14 tires, 4 propane tanks, and a scooter in just 4 hours.

Summit Lake Cleanup 2016

I can’t wait to participate in the Summit Lake Cleanup this year! It’s been an amazing experience helping organize and put things together, but I know the most rewarding part of all of this will be being able to get in there myself and do my part. I can’t wait to see how many people come together for the cleanup at Summit Lake and to see what we can accomplish.

Registration and kick-off for the Summit Lake Cleanup will take place at Reach Opportunity Center in Akron on April 22. For more information on the Summit Lake Cleanup contact Helen Dauka at 330-375-2116 or at hdauka@akronohio.gov. You can also check out the event page on FaceBook. Don’t forget to RSVP if you’re going!

There’s also still time to register for other Clean Up Akron Month projects! You can register online, stop by the KAB office to pick up a packet, or call the KAB office at 330-375-2116 and we’ll mail a packet to you!

This blog has been a fun one to write. I enjoyed thinking about all of the things I’ve been a part of since I started my internship and looking back on some of the great memories I’ve made as I start to get ready to leave KAB. Of course, I’m not leaving just yet and we still have a lot of work to do throughout April! I’m excited to continue working on things for Clean Up Akron Month and I can’t wait to take part in it myself on April 22!

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