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Downtown Clean Team events begin Tuesday to beautify Joplin

JOPLIN, Mo. – The 2021 Downtown Clean Team, established by Downtown Joplin Alliance, will begin cleaning up the Downtown Joplin area through a series of events beginning Tuesday, March 2.

With the help of volunteers, the Clean Team events will focus on removing trash and improving the appearance of Downtown Joplin.

The events will take place one to three times per month from March through October of this year. They will last for one hour, between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, the Clean Team volunteers will meet at Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, located at 506 S Joplin Ave. in Joplin, at 5:30 p.m.

Downtown Joplin Alliance will provide the materials, such as trash bags, brooms and gloves, but you are welcome to bring your own.

Lori Haun, Executive Director for Downtown Joplin Alliance, says the Clean Team events are a simple way to get involved in helping your community.

“People just come out for an hour and it gives them an easy way to contribute to making their city a better place,” said Haun.

Partnering with Joplin Parks and Recreation, Downtown Joplin Alliance began hosting the events about 5 years ago. It all started when DJA realized that Downtown Joplin’s flower beds were in bad shape. Haun reached out to Joplin Parks and Rec for help.

“‘If you guys can get us some mulch, I’ll get some volunteers together. We’ll weed the beds, we’ll mulch the beds – they need to look better,'” Haun recalls telling Joplin Parks and Rec.

The cause has gradually grown and evolved. Starting last year, clean-up events have been taking place at least 16 times per year. The events will incorporate tending to flower beds again in the near future.

If you are interested in attending a Clean Team event, sign up to become a volunteer on the Clean Team’s sign-up page.

If you are unable to attend a Clean Team event but still want to help, Haun says you can focus on cleaning up your own neighborhood.

“Spend 30 minutes and pick up around your neighborhood, pick up along the streets… If everybody just picked up a few pieces of trash every time they went out, our city would be beautiful and clean,” said Haun. “Wouldn’t it be great if it was a whole city-wide thing?”

Contact Downtown Joplin Alliance with any questions at info@downtownjoplin.com or 417-501-9649.

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Nevada looks to address litter issue

NEVADA, Mo. — Although nobody likes litter, one Southwest Missouri city is having a hard time with overwhelming amount of it. With large amounts of trash building up in the area, it leaves local residents like Dinah Smith searching for solutions.

Dinah Smith, Nevada Resident, said, “I think for Nevada to look better, it needs to have something done, and I don’t know the answer.”

For part of the year, as you can see, all the litter is usually hidden by the crops. But when the Harvest is complete, not only does the litter become more noticeable, but it causes for more concern. The answer they hope is a better eye on the situation.

Mark Mitchell, Nevada City Manager, said, “We’re wrapping up our code enforcement, will be hiring a code enforcement officer to make routes. And also we’re enforcing our code that’s already on the books with litter control and trash receptacles being closed.”

And if they’re not closed, you could find yourself in court.

“We notify the business owner who’s in violation by letter. We’ll send a first notice, and then we’ll send a second notice, and we’ll work with them. We want to make sure they come into compliance. And if they don’t come into compliance, then our next step is to go to municipal court.”

Punishments like this will hopefully mean Smith isn’t forced to go back and fix the situation on her own.

“When I first moved here I was trying to pick it up a lot, and my husband said you can’t be doing that,” said Smith.

City leaders are hoping residents will start to see improvements in the coming weeks.