Downtown Haverhill is looking cleaner and greener these days because of the work of more than 50 volunteers known as the Clean and Green Team.
Team Haverhill Vice President Lisa Marzilli, chairperson of the Clean and Green Downtown Committee updated the City Council this week on the group’s latest efforts.
“We’ve organized opportunities to clean litter downtown, to paint, to plant, and now we’ve added this new category called ‘restore.’ So, what we’ve been doing in terms of cleaning, we’ve picked up 131 bags of trash. We’ve partnered with Riverside Place to clean the front of their planters with them. We’ve also been painting downtown, hydrants fire boxes, bollards and we’ve painted the fence at Columbus Park,” she said.
Marzilli said all 25 downtown fire hydrants received a new coat of paint as have 12 of the city’s fire call boxes. She also noted the group has done a significant amount of planting on Washington Street, the Herbert H. Goecke Jr. Memorial Parking Deck and other areas, while hauling away about 170 bags of weeds and leaves. She said the group has also restored the Veteran’s Monument at the city post office.
Allison Heartquist, chief of staff to Mayor James J. Fiorentini, also told councilors the city is hiring additional people to help clean downtown.
“The city is partnering with Leaving the Streets Ministry and we are hiring four young men and they will work with the full-time employee who works downtown with cleaning up. They’re going to focus on the parks and also the Goecke Deck garage,” she said.
Jesus Ruiz, president of Leaving the Streets Ministry, said programs like this are beneficial on many levels.
“So that was the idea, I said we’re getting you a job and getting you off the streets, now you’ve got to give back to Haverhill and this is how you give back. So, they volunteer ten hours a month to keep our communities clean and now, as we’re cleaning the parks, the kids that are destroying it are helping out and engaging and cleaning the parks,” he said.
Councilors expressed thanks to all for their efforts.