When out-of-towners drive into Marshalltown, one civic group wants them to think it is a nice place to visit and live.
The weeds and garbage littering medians on Center Street and Anson Avenue inhibited that perception.
To remedy this problem, a local beautification group called Cleaniac is partnering with the city. The group is still in its infancy and is a revival of a group with the same goals that existed from 2004 to 2008.
T-R PHOTO BY DAVID ALEXANDER
Cleaniac helped weed and medians on Anson Avenue and Center Street, shown her Friday evening. City road crews supervised the effort to ensure the group met Iowa Department of Transportation safety requirements. Cleaniac is still seeking volunteers who are serious about community stewardship.
Dan Engesser, one of the 11 members of the group's planning team who has been spearheading most of its efforts, said he wanted to revive Cleaniac because of all the good it did for the community.
"It was making people feel proud of their neighborhoods and their homes," he said. "I think we are all stewards of our environment."
Jeff Roads, street superintendent, began helping facilitate the cleanup, acting as a go between for the group and the Iowa Department of Transportation. Street crews provided supervision and traffic safety as required by the DOT.
He said making the central corridor of town clean and presentable is in everyone's best interest. When Cleaniac members finished removing weeds and trash from the medians, Roads said he sent out the street sweeper to put the finishing touches on the effort.
"I think it's a great thing that they want to volunteer their time to make the town look a little nicer and keep it clean," he said. "They don't expect the city to do everything. They want to participate themselves."
Lori Stansberry, finance director and Cleaniac member, said the group has gotten some volunteers from the National Honors Society and is looking to make the median cleanup an annual event.
Engesser said he hopes this Cleaniac reboot will get many more youth involved in civic efforts.
"We are taking it a step further to see what we can do," Stansberry said.
The group will help clean up trash during this year's RAGBRAI stop. Cleaniac is still looking for members who are serious about community stewardship, Engesser said.
Cleaniac will meet again to discuss future projects at 2:30 p.m. July 12 at the Marshalltown City Centre, 16 E. Main St. Engesser said anyone serious about joining the group should call him at 641-752-1087.
"We are going to need a lot of community support to pull this off," he said.