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Local social media initiative hopes to make Morgantown ‘shine a little brighter’

MORGANTOWN – Members of the Morgantown Clean Up Project Facebook community are tackling the task of beautifying the streets of Morgantown one street or neighborhood at a time.

Danielle Trumble, organizer of the Morgantown Clean Up Project, said she started the initiative at the beginning of this year.

She said the Facebook page was put together not only to coordinate larger clean-ups around the city, but also to inspire others to do their own cleaning up by raising awareness of the initiative on social media.

Members of the group routinely go out and pick up trash and litter from streets, neighborhoods and parks and post about their efforts in the social media group to either receive support from other group members or encourage others to join them.

“Litter and trash is a huge problem in Morgantown – not just in Morgantown, clearly it’s a large problem everywhere. I started [the Morgantown Clean Up Project] initially because I was doing clean-ups and friends would see me and say, ‘If you let me know about it, I would help you out.’ So I created that [Facebook] group to organize friends and it’s really grown,” Trumble said.

Trumble said the Facebook group now has about 220 members, and the group has had people join because they’ve seen members of the group out doing cleaning-up.

In addition to individual group members cleaning up on their own, the Morgantown Clean Up Project has started organizing larger group clean-ups now that the weather is better.

On March 20, in observance of the first day of spring, a group clean-up was held on Willey Street. Trumble said about 20 people showed up to that clean-up and over 30 bags of trash, as well as some bulk items, were collected.

The group’s next large scheduled clean-up is occurring Sunday on Brockway Avenue from Valley Crossing to the Walnut Street bridge.

Trumble said the group is trying to spread their efforts out around Morgantown, but Brockway Avenue was an area brought to the group’s attention by several members.

“We try to take suggestions on areas that seem to have a lot of litter. It was brought to our attention, and I just decided that that would be our next large clean-up,” Trumble said.

Trumble said she tries to arrange for parking and trash removal when a large clean-up is happening.

For the Brockway cleanup, Trumble contacted the directors of the Morgantown Board of Parks and Recreation (BOPARC), which manages the property at Valley Crossing, and received permission for those involved in the clean-up to park there.

A group member who owns a local hauling business, Lamar Services, comes along behind the cleanup crew and disposes of the trash at a landfill at his own expense.

Trumble said that as of now, the Morgantown Clean Up Project does not have an official website and operates solely from the Facebook group.

“We’ve talked about maybe becoming a nonprofit, applying for that. That has not been done yet. We’re just community organizers right now,” she said.

Anyone is welcome to get involved with the Morgantown Clean Up Project by joining their Facebook group. Trumble also encourages anyone who wants to organize a clean-up of their own to do so through the Facebook page.

She said she believes in the time the group has been active, it has “absolutely” had a positive impact on the Morgantown area.

“Someone stopped today while I was picking up trash in my neighborhood and asked if I was a part of this group, so I think we’re really gaining some traction and becoming more visible and working to make Morgantown shine a little brighter,” Trumble said.

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