Athol community cleanup project in the works

  • Heidi Strickland, right, was the recent guest speaker at the Athol Lions Club recently. She spoke about an upcoming event designed to clean up the streets of Athol. At left is Athol Lions President Joe Allen.

Published: 3/17/2019 2:26:24 PM
Modified: 3/17/2019 2:26:29 PM

ATHOL — After seeing several posts on social media about the troublesome problem of trash in the streets around town, Heidi Strickland posed a simple question, “Why don’t we do something about it?”

The idea is catching on and though it is in early stages, she said a few events are being planned, including a community cleanup event set for Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., five days after Earth Day.

“We want to get the community involved to clean up the town,” said Strickland. She has spoken with Athol Town Manager Shaun Suhoski, and is looking to involve the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H Club, schools, and churches. “It’s all in the works” she said.

Strickland was the guest speaker at a recent Athol Lions Club business meeting and made an appeal to the Lions to have the Club’s “weenie wagon” available to provide hot food for the celebration following the clean-up. “The more people in the community involved, the better,” said Strickland, adding the focus on April 27 will be in the downtown area. “But we would like to spread out to different areas.”

Strickland said Athol Department of Public Works Superintendent Doug Walsh said the town will provide the bags and will also pick up the filled bags and transport them to the landfill.

“I’m a fanatic about recycling,” said Strickland, and added she hopes to have separate bags for trash and recyclable materials. She said the town manager is reaching out to Peter Gerry (Pete’s Tire Barns Inc. of Orange) about collecting any tires that may be found.

Lion Mitch Grosky suggested contacting Athol High School to get the members of the National and Junior honor societies involved. To graduate, seniors are required to log a certain number of community service hours, and this would qualify. Another suggestion was to look into the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department Community Service Program, which allows minimum security inmates convicted of non violent offenses and who are in the final six months of their record, to participate in the program.

Strickland said Suhoski is working on a project, “Aspire Athol,” which will involve cleaning up the town, and will announce the group’s efforts.

“We are hoping it’s not a one-time event,” said Strickland, noting five people are committed to the project thus far.

For those seeking more information, an event will be created on Facebook and those interested may email to





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