The A2Y Chamber is scaling back its Community Cleanup Day, formerly known as Ypsi Proud, for 2019 in hopes of increasing community input and revamping the event in 2020.
This year's cleanup day will take place on May 18 – the third Saturday in May, as in past years when the chamber has hosted cleanups in Ypsi and Ypsi Township under the name Ypsilanti PRIDE or Ypsi Proud. The chamber will seek community input on all aspects of the event, including what sites to clean up and priorities for each site. The event's name changes have caused some confusion, so its new name will be up to the community as well, according to Barbara Davenport, the chamber's vice president of foundation and leadership.
"We didn't want to not have a cleanup day this year, but we want, going forward, for cleanup days to be more about what the community would like to see happen and get them more involved in the process," Davenport says.
Chamber staff is limiting this year's cleanup day to seven locations. Tentatively, those are Ypsi's Recreation Park, Prospect Park, downtown Ypsilanti, Depot Town, Riverside and Frog Island Parks, and Parkridge Community Center; and Ypsi Township's West Willow neighborhood.
The chamber hosted one volunteer session March 12 and intends to hold another at the end of March to find out what the community's priorities are for the 2019 event.
The chamber will host additional community input sessions in the second half of 2019, but those dates have not yet been set.
Davenport says a number of "friends of" organizations do "incredible" work at the seven sites all year round and hopes they will give input on what they'd like to see happen at each location.
"We want to unite the community around beautification of the community, and see what that means to them," Davenport says. "We want input from as many people as possible."
Davenport says other groups are welcome to get together and do cleanup in other sites on May 18, but the chamber can only support a limited number of sites this year.
The next volunteer session is set for 4 p.m. March 31 at Cultivate Coffee and Tap House, 307 N. River St. in Ypsilanti.
Anyone who would like additional information about the cleanup day or associated volunteer and input sessions may contact Davenport at (734) 214-0104.
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in Ypsilanti Township and the project manager of On the Ground Ypsilanti. She has served as innovation and jobs/development news writer for Concentrate since early 2017 and is an occasional contributor to Driven. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos courtesy of Barbara Davenport/A2Y Chamber.