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Clean Green Springfield needs citizen volunteers to help spruce up the city

A Clean Green volunteer team helps pick up trash on the city's roadways
City of Springfield, Missouri
A Clean Green volunteer team helps pick up trash on the city's roadways

The campaign, which includes special clean up events and opportunities to sign up for individual and group projects, runs through the end of May.

Clean Green Springfield is underway. It’s an effort to get citizens involved in cleaning up their city.

According to a 2019 study done by the city of Springfield, an estimated six hundred thousand pieces of trash are in the city’s streams – 60 percent of it is plastic.

Kristen Milam, communication coordinator for the City of Springfield’s Public Information Office, said litter starts in the streets.

“What ends up in our roadways and in our neighborhoods that ultimately – every time it rains – it washes into our waterways," she said. "The waterways really are a collector for all that litter.”

Litter comes from garbage trucks, people not paying attention when they attempt to toss trash in a garbage can and people who purposely litter, according to Milam. She said litter has a negative economic impact on the Ozarks.

“Our economy really focuses on the environment and on tourism and economic development measures that really focus on our lakes and our streams and our water,” said Milam.

Clean Green Springfield is a city-wide initiative created in 2021 to decrease litter. Milam said it gives residents a chance to volunteer to help pick up trash. It also offers special pick-up events that people can sign up to be part of as well as times when you residents can recycle mattresses, tires and television sets. This spring’s event continues through the end of May.

You can find out more about Clean Green Springfield and sign up to help clean up the city at

Meghan McKinney is an undergraduate journalism student at Missouri State University. She works as a news reporter and announcer for KSMU. Her passions, other than journalism, are psychology, music, sign languages and dancing. She also runs a local music page on Facebook called "SGF Playlist."