Chamber Corner: It takes a village to put a shine on Auburn

Auburn Chamber of Commerce

As spring approaches, the once pretty white snow piles transform into smaller dirt piles that expose the trash that has been hidden all winter season.

This litter is an eyesore come spring.

As we all get out to walk our streets and neighborhoods we see it, it amazes us each year where this all comes from. Many businesses will pick up the trash in their parking lots, residents will pick up the trash in their front yards and sidewalks as a way of showing pride in their property.

There are some areas around town, whether abandoned private property, state owned, town owned or owned but forgotten about that remain havens for trash to gather. If one person were to try to pick up all this trash, the task would seem daunting, but when you have an entire community gather and pick up trash together, the task is less overwhelming.

The Auburn Chamber of Commerce and the town of Auburn recognize the importance of keeping the town clean, not only for the positive environmental impacts, but to show Auburn pride throughout the community.

The Auburn Chamber of Commerce and the town of Auburn work in tandem to coordinate a biennial town-wide cleanup around Earth Day to foster that pride. Auburn encompasses 16.4 square miles; to remove trash throughout this area is a great and costly task.

Although there are many volunteers that give their time and hard work, it is through the help from local businesses by the way of sponsorships and donations where the vast expenses can be mitigated. Over the years the chamber has received sponsorship and donation money from many local businesses. This event could not exist without that support.

“Thank you for your continued work in making Auburn a terrific place to do business. Having a clean area to live and work is critical in meeting such a standard,” wrote Jamie Salois, owner of Atlas Distributing, in a letter addressed to the chamber this year in support of the town-wide cleanup.

Seeing the powerful impact on the community, the chamber and the town have decided to turn this biennial event into an annual event. The hope is that if this event happens once a year, Auburn will remain a clean and beautiful town from Rochdale Street to Old Common Road, from Oxford Street North to Oxford Street South.

Over the years, the town cleanup event has gained more volunteers and sponsors, who roll up their sleeves, donate their time, grab gloves and recycling bags, and pick up litter around town.

Town of Auburn’s DDIS director, and co-chair of the Auburn town cleanup committee, Darlene Coyle stated, “The Town Wide Cleanup Day is one of my favorite events, everyone that comes to it wants to make a difference. Since it’s been a few years since we could have this event, I’m hoping that we have a lot of volunteers interested in helping out this year. Whether people are picking up litter on the side of the road, or dropping off old tires for recycling, it’s so positive for Auburn.”

There are the five major arteries, and many waterways that pass through Auburn, along with parks, schools and railroad tracks that add to the mix of this major cleanup project. The pride that people have for Auburn and keeping it looking clean make the day worthwhile, and some would even say fun. It is estimated that volunteers have picked up approximately 70 tons of trash and over 800 tires since 1996.

This year the town-wide cleanup will be held on Saturday, May 7, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. (the rain date is May 14).

Our volunteers consist of countless community groups, businesses and residents who have donated their time and services to make each town wide cleanup a success. We are looking to have folks mark their calendars and join us in May as we make Auburn a cleaner place to work, live and play.

“The Auburn town wide cleanup is a true community event, and I am excited that we are bringing it back in 2022. The town, its residents, and businesses, all come together to make the event a great success. I am looking forward to getting out there on May 7 and cleaning up the streets, parks and schools with friends and neighbors and I encourage anyone who can to come out and join us,” said Roger Robinson, market manager for Webster 5 and co-chair of the Auburn Town Cleanup Committee.

If you are looking for more information or how to volunteer on May 7, please go to the Auburn Chamber of Commerce website to register: https://auburnchamberma.org/events/cleanup/ .

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