Neighborhood Clean Up Yields High Spirits

Last year, Ecolibrium3 decided to be bold about Earth Week. It’s our mission. After all, Earth Day is our
national holiday. With four main program areas (Eco3 Energy, Eco3 VISTA, Eco3 LNPK, and Main Street
Lincoln Park), Ecolibrium3 had several opportunities to make an extra-special impact on our world and
Earth Week is a great time to kick off springtime starting right in our own back yard.

Each program took on a spotlight activity for Earth Week with Main Street Lincoln Park leading a
neighborhood clean-up just as the melting snow exposed winter’s litter accumulation. With guidance from
the City of Duluth Parks, WLSSD, and Waste Management (now known as WM), Main Street was able to
create a clean up that had 78 volunteers show up to do their part, communally, and safely. We were asked
a half dozen times, “When can we do this again?” so the date for the 2022 Eco3 Main Street Lincoln Park
Spring Clean Up was set before the 2021 event was done. Then, Ursa Minor Brewing called in January to
make sure we included them as this year’s partner. Three calls later and the City of Duluth Parks, WLSSD,
and Waste Management were on board for Year Two.

We set a goal of 90 volunteers for the 2022 Clean Up and as the day approached we found ourselves with
98. A dozen neighborhood businesses contributed fantastic items for the volunteer goodie bags and the
pickers, gloves, bags, buckets, and dumpster were in place. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had different
ideas. April 23rd dawned with a gusty wind and on-and-off chilly rain that did not let up until the afternoon.
Would volunteers show up? Would we have to have another clean up day to get done what needed to get

It turns out we had no need to worry. Volunteers not only showed up, but they showed up enthusiastically
(and in many cases earlier than scheduled) with all manner of rain gear, raring to go; one volunteer had his
own picker, trash bin, and sharps container all covered with a rain poncho, another brought their dog
outfitted to help tote garbage. In total, 80 hearty souls collected over 1,500 pounds of trash and recycling
from 50 city blocks over the course of three and a half hours spurred on in part with donated donuts and coffee.
Several community groups brought members and for many others it was a family affair with the kids doing
good for their community shoulder to shoulder with parents and siblings. Ecolibrium3 and Ursa Minor
staff, Eco3 VISTAs Luke Viscusi, Jaeger Moser, Stephanie Nielsen, and Cristin Curwick, and the NCCC
Cedar 2 team kept things running smoothly before, during, and after the event.

When the Clean Up and rain had ended, we were able to put another successful year behind us and look
with pride at litter-free streets acknowledging again that Grandma Irene was right when she said, “Many
hands make light work.”

For the curious, we’re ready for 2023. Saturday, April 22 is already on the calendar with a goal of 90
volunteers and some sunshine, too. We hope you’ll join us.