Jackson Hole Rotary Lunch Club will hold a spring clean up this week, maintaining a longstanding community tradition despite the cancellation of the Recycling Center’s usual springtime involvement.
Teton County Integrated Solid Waste and Recycling’s program was cancelled this year out of budgetary concerns, but town spruce-up efforts will nonetheless go on.
"I'm always impressed with our community on cleanup day," Rotary cleanup coordinator April Norton said. "We always have a ton of people come out who are happy to do their part."
This year, people will still be able to pitch in, but Rotary’s program will happen in a physically distant fashion appropriate for the times.
Usually, people gather in different locations throughout the county on a Sunday in May, where bags are distributed and areas are assigned. Volunteers get a big breakfast, go out and clean, and then come back for a lunch at Ecofair.
But this year, Ecofair has been cancelled. And with the COVID-19 physical distancing guidelines still in effect, organizers decided to switch things up.
"This is totally different," Norton Said.
Bags will be hung on stop signs and mile marker posts around the town and county on Sunday. The cleanup itself will begin Monday and go through May 10.
People are encouraged to pick the bags up Sunday and clean along the road in the direction of traffic throughout the following week, doing so either until their bag is full or they reach the next set of bags.
When bags are full, cleaner-uppers can tie them off and leave them along the side of the road.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation will pick up bags left along the highway, the Town of Jackson will pick up bags in town, and Team Norton will pick up bags on county roads.
Organizers ask that volunteers adhere to physical distancing guidelines: wearing masks, gloves and keeping at least six feet of distance between people who don’t live in the same household.
People who stick to those guidelines can clean as many sections of road as they want.
"We're just hoping that people will get out and help, especially on those highway sections," Norton said, pointing to the area on S. Highway 89 between the recycling center and highway construction further down the road.
"That area is really dirty this year."
While you’re out there, take a picture or two. You can send it to email@example.com if you’d like to share it with Rotary, and firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to share it with the newspaper.
This article was updated to clarify that bags for the cleanup will be distributed Sunday. The cleanup itself will run from May 4 to 10. — Ed.