WITH SPRING WEATHER just about here -- so we hope -- the GreenScape cleanup is just around the corner. Held this year on Saturday, April 20, this five-year-old annual event has become a spirited affair during which hundreds of civic-minded people, encompassing school children and midshipmen to volunteers from all walks of life, give Annapolis a seasonal face lift.
More than 20 sites have been selected for attention this year. They range from Newman Street playground and St. Anne's Cemetery to Gotts Court and the Spa Creek Bridge. Volunteers will plant trees and shrubs, fix up walls and sweep up debris across the state capital. This project, sponsored by Annapolis' Recreation and Parks Advisory Board, has been so successful it won an award from a statewide planning group.
Citizens often wonder what they can do to improve their community. Here's a great event that does not require any specialized skills. Volunteers are needed and Annapolitans should respond. "It's a wonderful program," says Richard B. Callahan, the city's director of parks and recreation. "It gets all parts of the community working together."
In its philosophy, GreenScape is a spinoff of Earth Day, which was celebrated in the heyday of the ecology movement in April 1970 and was resurrected on its 20th anniversary in 1990. While organizing the GreenScape event costs about $9,000, it is money well spent, with several private and public sources pitching in. Indeed, this combination of government input with volunteer action is an approach that should be employed more in these times of heightened budget restraint.
This winter was so hard that GreenScape volunteers are certain to have more than enough to repair. We urge all Scouts and students to take advantage of this opportunity to do some community service and volunteer. Better yet, they should talk their parents into doing likewise.
Many previous GreenScape efforts have been directed at making gateways to Annapolis more appealing. This has been a good approach because those entrance routes are the first thing most visitors see. And first impressions -- like acts of community spirit -- often are defining and lasting.
Pub Date: 4/11/96