Friday, May 3 marks Service Day in Clark County. Over 1,000 volunteers will participate in up to 50 community improvement projects across the county. Pictured is last year’s Annual Downtown Cleanup, which is held in conjunction with Service Day. The event drew 119 volunteers, who picked up 105 bags of litter, pulled weeds, cut honeysuckle, laid mulch, swept sidewalks and spruced up about 30 blocks of downtown Springfield. CONTRIBUTED

Community volunteers to help clean up, beautify Clark County Friday

Over a thousand people will be volunteering Friday as part of a community service effort in Clark County. Friday marks the fourth annual Service Day - a program devoted to litter pickup, beautification, and community improvement across the county.

The event is held in conjunction with the Great American Cleanup, the nation’s largest program of its kind, said Michael Cooper, Clark County public information officer. The program runs from March 1 through May 31.

Carolyn Young, Service Day chair, said the event facilitates teamwork within the community.

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“This gives us the capability to work together to accomplish good things for our community,” Young said. “We live in an amazing place because we have all these resources and people who care.”

Volunteers will be situated at 50 sites across Clark County, where they will help local nonprofits on projects including landscaping, cleaning, painting, and beautification, Young said.

Service Day is held in conjunction with the Downtown Cleanup in Springfield, which is held from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Volunteers for the Downtown Cleanup will meet at City Hall Plaza, 76 E. High St.

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In 2018, 1,280 volunteers picked up litter and beautified public spaces in Clark County, according to Cooper. They worked a combined 1,850 hours and picked up 630 bags of litter from 125 public spaces. This year, at least 1,117 people from the community and local schools have signed up to volunteer so far, according to Young.

“Not everybody can take months or weeks out of their year to volunteer, but everybody can give a day. It’s amazing what we accomplish in a day.”

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The event is planned by Community Health Foundation, Clark State Community College, The Chamber of Greater Springfield, United Way, Catholic Central, Keep Clark County Beautiful, the Nehehmiah Foundation, and Emmanuel Christian Academy.

Service Day takes place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will be followed by an after-party from 4 to 6 p.m. at National Road Commons at 50 W. National Rd. in downtown Springfield. The after-party will include food trucks and music by DJ Chill, Not So Loud Silent Party.

Registration for the event is free. To sign up to volunteer, visit Facebook.com/ClarkCountyServiceDay or go to United Way of Clark, Champaign, and Madison counties at www.uwccmc.org.

For more information, contact Carolyn Young at cmyoung@mercy.com.

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