LONGMONT — As Clean-Up, Green-Up volunteers assembled around glistening Izaak Walton Pond and children ran around in shorts and T-shirts Saturday morning, it was hard to tell that the National Weather Service had issued a winter storm watch for just hours later in Boulder and Jefferson Counties.
Perhaps this was the calm before the storm.
But inside the clubhouse, volunteers at this year’s 10th annual Clean-Up, Green-Up kickoff seemed to be enjoying the weather, their service to the Longmont community and not thinking at all about the warnings.
“An effort like this is so great because it gives something back to the community,” volunteer coordinating assistant Karen Schlarb said. “We’re so lucky that the weather held.”
Saturday morning’s celebration was the start of this year’s month-long initiative to Clean-Up and Green-Up Longmont.
About 250 volunteers showed up by the end of the morning celebration, and close to 600 garbage bags were handed out and filled.
“This has been one of our most successful kickoffs yet,” project coordinator Lore Blather said. “People have showed up in record numbers.”
Blather is in her fifth year as coordinator and has been a member of the Longmont community for more than 25 years.
“It’s nice to come out here and see people leave with a smile on their face knowing that they’ve done something good for their community.”
Schlarb agrees that the most positive aspect of the cleanup effort is the recognition residents give to the value of their community.
“We in Longmont have an amazing parks and recreation department — between our ponds and pools, sports recreation and children’s activity equipment, it would be a shame if we didn’t give back,” she said.
Matt Pillar — a maintenance technician with the Longmont Parks, Recreation and Open Space departments — was on hand to help dispense garbage bags and show his appreciation for the concern of Longmont’s residents.
“It’s a bit of a morale booster to see so many appreciative residents,” Pillar said. “It’s nice to know that they care about what we do, and it’s a huge help for us in keeping Longmont clean.”
As Blather headed over to her “war room,” a huge map of Longmont where she marks the destinations of all her volunteers, in came Sherrie, Tyler and Zachary Brumley of Cub Scout Pack 673, Den 3.
Tyler was volunteering as part of his last community service requirement to receive a Wolf Badge.
“(Clean-Up, Green-Up is) nice because it helps the environment,” said 8-year-old Tyler.
And Mary Rushing, who was in her second year of volunteering said, “I have one bag here for dog poop and another for garbage. It’s rewarding to see this town clean and beautiful.”
The initiative will run April 9-30 and will host several campaigns to clean up Longmont including Arbor Day festivities on April 30.
Those festivities will include a $1 lunch, live music and entertainment, tree climbing, bucket truck rides, and a tree and rosebush sale.
For more information call, 303-651-8446.
“Everyone should participate,” said Blather. “If we live here, we should all love and care for our community.”
Peter Marcus can be reached
at 303-776-2244, or by e-mail