TUPELO – Sherrie Cochran wants people in Tupelo to have a summer filled with good, clean fun.
Cochran is executive director of Keep Tupelo Beautiful and is the city’s environmental planner. As a part of the Great American Cleanup, Cochran and other residents spend March through May picking up litter around the city.
She said beautiful weather often brings unsightly litter, especially to parks.
“We want people to enjoy our beautiful city but we want them to help to keep it that way,” said Cochran. “We put a lot of work in cleaning things up so people can get out and enjoy our parks and streets and to have people just throw things out takes away from that work.
“Littering is contagious. Once a person sees one piece of trash on the ground, they think it’s fine to throw more.”
Tupelo Police Lt. Tim Clouse said it’s not fine, and littering is a crime that the city takes seriously. But it’s not easy to enforce.
“If you get caught littering you will receive a citation,” said Clouse. “But we have to catch you doing it, which is not always possible. That’s why we hope people will just not do it.”
A person is caught littering could receive up to a $500 fine and a year in jail.
Cochran said it’s going to take a community effort to keep the city clean, and that’s the approach Haven Acres Boys & Girls Club Director Mattie Mabry is taking.
Every month Mabry takes a group of teenagers from the club’s Keystone Club and picks up trash around Willie Moore Road. The club adopted the road as one it would keep clean.
“Making sure our community is clean is very important to us,” said Mabry. “I’m glad to see our young people taking part in making sure it stays clean. It takes an entire community.”
For neighborhoods that want to have a cleanup, Cochran said the city will provide garbage bags. For more information, call (662) 841-6510.
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal