CEDAR CITY – Nearly 4 tons of trash was hauled off to the landfill Saturday morning as part of the kickoff for the “Make Cedar City Sparkle” campaign meant to motivate residents to beautify the community.
Some 100 volunteers, ranging in ages 6 to 86, came out to help in the cleanup project that took in 2 miles of state Route 56 between Lund Highway and Port 15. The group collected everything from trash to cash during the four-hour effort.
“It warmed my heart to see that many people out there this morning bright and early cleaning up the trash along that stretch of highway,” Cedar City Councilman Fred Rowley said.
Rowley first introduced the idea of the campaign in March as a call to action, hoping to motivate others to clean up the town. Since then, city officials and the Chamber of Commerce have been pushing the campaign in anticipation of the upcoming dedication of the Cedar City temple for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The grand event, slated for Oct. 27, is expected to draw international attention with an estimated 100,000-200,000 visitors.
“Regardless of one’s religious convictions I believe that these events will have a profound positive impact on our community due to the publicity and financial infusion we will receive,” Rowley read from his own open letter to the council during its March 8 meeting. “Thousands of people from Utah, and surrounding states will be coming to Cedar City to take a tour. I expect that hundreds of former residents will be coming from even farther distances to visit their hometown.”
Cedar City Councilman Paul Cozzens, who participated in Saturday’s cleanup efforts, said he was excited to see so many people come out.
And while Saturday was about working, Rowley said it turned out to be so much more.
“It was just a bunch of fun,” Rowley said. “People were working but you couldn’t go five to 10 minutes without finding yourself in another conversation with someone different. There were so many different kinds of people out there and we all just had a great time.”
Officials are hopeful that the kickoff event will help others follow suit by taking responsibility for their own yards and neighborhoods and get things in order.
Rowley pointed to specific places he said need serious work including the sheep tunnels and the walking trail near Green Lakes Drive.
Zwick Construction is currently organizing another cleanup project for Sage Drive in front of the movie theaters that will likely be held next month. More details on that event will be forthcoming as the event nears.
“This is what we want to see happen,” Rowley said. “We want to see private groups organize spontaneous projects to clean up and support their own city. It can’t just be the responsibility of the city staff to do it all. Residents have to take some pride in their community too to make it work.”
The city will also likely hold another cleanup effort in early fall, Rowley added.
As part of the campaign, the Chamber of Commerce is going to be giving out “Make Cedar City Sparkle” awards monthly for individuals and groups who do the most during given 30-day periods, cleaning up their yards, businesses, neighborhoods or community.
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