400 Haverhill Residents Turn Out for Citywide Earth Day Cleanup

Haverhill residents, including state Rep. Andy Vargas, third from left, cleaned up Wysocki Park in the city's Mount Washington neighborhood in 2018. (Jay Saulnier photograph for WHAV News.)

Haverhill community members, including state Rep. Andy Vargas (third from left), cleaned up Wysocki Park in the city's Mt. Washington neighborhood. (Jay Saulnier photograph for WHAV News)

A record number of Haverhill residents turned out Saturday for the annual citywide Earth Day cleanup effort, organizers said.

Melinda Barrett did heavy lifting at Winnekenni Park. (Jay Saulnier/WHAV News)

Stationed at locations around the city including Winnekenni Park, Crystal Lake, Tattersall Farm and the Mt. Washington neighborhood, approximately 400 locals were organized into teams or given individual assignments and gathered at the Welcome Street Citizens Center before heading out to beautify the city.

Volunteers were given T-shirts and supplies at the Citizens Center. (Jay Saulnier/WHAV News)

Volunteers including City Council Vice President Thomas J. Sullivan, Councilor Melinda E. Barrett and state Rep. Andy Vargas were among those who cleared brush debris from winter storms and ushered in spring by planting flowers.

Fifty community members joined Sullivan at Winnekenni Park, where they cleaned up the front entrance, tennis courts and Basin areas.

“This year’s Earth Day cleanup drew a record number of volunteers who canvassed the city and cleaned up a number of public parks and spaces,” Sullivan told WHAV. “It was a perfect day to be outside and a great day to take pride in our city.”

Members of the Haverhill Conservation Commission and friends beautified the area around Crystal Lake. (Photograph courtesy of Tom Wylie)

Organizer Dave LaBrode told WHAV the better than expected turnout was largely due to Saturday’s seasonally mild temperatures.

“Since I have been actively organizing the annual Earth Day cleanup, this was the largest turnout ever,” said LaBrode, sending special kudos to the city’s highway and Department of Public Works crew for assisting with debris hauling.

Saturday’s cleanup carried the theme of “Do Good in Your Neighborhood,” and while LaBrode was confident in the effort made this weekend, he noted much is still left to do around the city. Groups including the Hope for Hilldale cemetery cleanup crew hope to keep the momentum going, and have set up their own community efforts later this spring.