Good News from A Great City Haverhill, MA
The Heartbeat of Haverhill is pleased to recognize that Haverhill honors our earth on more than just the one day, April 25, that was designated the 2015 Haverhill Citywide Cleanup Day. When THOH set out to see how the annual Cleanup unfolded, we learned about the longer view of keeping our city and our planet clean that many participants shared to forward conservation and recycling efforts well beyond the one day. We visited three sites but cleanups were happening throughout the city either through organized or individual efforts.
First stop Plug Pond aka Lake Saltonstall (Sanders Rd, Haverhill). The crew from Nettle Middle School led the charge at this location for what was probably the 10th year, many under the direction of teacher Mr. Ted Becker who gives extra credit to his students who participate. Admirably there was a collection of excellent students helping out who probably didn’t need the extra credit. Supplementing the school group was Jan Young, a scout leader, with representation from her troop. THOH arrived as the team was wrapping up its efforts and had amassed an enormous pile of trash including such oddities as bamboo tiki torches, a box television which the youngest members of the team could not identify having grown up in the era of flat screens, a realtor’s sign and a metal fire pit. Mr. Becker pointed out that one of the student team members, Keighley Credit, ( a math whiz as well as a conservationist) is a leader in the school’s Green Team and helped develop a presentation to each of 20-25 classrooms at Nettle Middle School to encourage students to sign up to promote recycling in the school, at home, and throughout the community. Those presentations netted 300 student participants for the latest school year! One of the roles of the Nettle Middle School Green Team is to assist in the lunch room to ensure recycling is done, and the Team also assists physically challenged students who might have trouble recycling. They educate family members and neighbors about good practices for a healthy earth and lead through example.
Next we visited Winnekenni Basin (347 Kenoza Ave, Haverhill) where we were directed to city councilman Thomas Sullivan who shared his long term vision for the basin – to responsibly clear some of the brush to reveal a better view of the waterfront. Working with the guidance of the city and Haverhill’s Conservation Commission, the volunteers, many of whom signed on at Team Haverhill’s “Possible Dreams” meeting, removed invasive species including vines from the shore line to increase visibility. The beautification continued with plantings at the entrance way funded by a “10 for 10” grant from Team Haverhill. Also lending a hand were hard working and energetic scouts from Haverhill’s Troop #1. Plans are in the works for continually maintaining and improving the basin so all can enjoy this bucolic space throughout the year.
Final stop on CleanUp day was the Portland Street Playground (near the intersection of Portland Street at 5th Avenue). The Heartbeat of Haverhill arrived just after the bulk of the volunteers had left but large full bags of debris indicate that the 15 or so people from Team Haverhill and the neighborhood families had some impressive cleaning skills. City leaders, a strong group of volunteers and Team Haverhill combined efforts to bring this inner city park to life last year. Alice Mann, president of Team Haverhill, was on site with a handful of dedicated volunteers when we arrived. The park looked immaculate and many of the kids and families who had participated in the clean up enjoyed a well-deserved break and a chance to enjoy all that the park offered: a table for a picnic lunch, a bench for a weary rest, a breezy swing on the swingset, or a rambunctious climb through an elaborate jungle gym.
For all who participated, the Cleanup was considered a lot more fun than household chores thanks in large part to the major sponsors of Haverhill’s Citywide Cleanup including Mayor James Fiorentini and the city, Haverhill’s Brightside, the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, Haverhill Bank, Covanta, Magellan Aerospace, Spring Hill Natural Water, Cedar’s Mediterranean Food Inc., Starbucks, Haverhill Beef company and Heav’nly Donuts.
Undoubtedly there are parents throughout the city who hope the enthusiasm with which their kids and they themselves cleaned the parks can be replicated at home throughout the year. And we have a special report from Ruth’s House on how to make cleaning out household clutter part of the solution to a cleaner planet.
Go Green with The Thrift Shop at Ruth’s House!
Contributed by special guest blogger, Jessica Bolduc of Ruth’s House
Going green starts in your house and heads to The Thrift Shop at Ruth’s House. Ruth’s House (RH) is located at 111 Lafayette Square, Haverhill, and operated by the charitable organization, Ruth’s House, Inc. RH can help you to join the Reduce, Reuse & Recycle movement when you DONATE your unwanted or gently-used items instead of simply throwing them away. Since the average American throws away about 65 pounds of clothing and textiles per year (a whopping 14.3 million tons), recycling your clothing and household items to a shop like Ruth’s House is a great way to be green and better the environment. And the good news doesn’t stop there: when your donated items are purchased, it directly supports the organization’s mission of supplying clothing –including brand new socks and underwear purchased with proceeds from the shop– to individuals and families in need that have been referred by various human service organizations throughout the Greater Merrimack Valley. Your donation is tax-deductible and the shop will gladly provide you with a tax receipt when you drop off your items.
Ruth’s House Mission
Fulfilling our mission of clothing those in need in the Greater Merrimack Valley since 1992.
For over twenty years, in the true spirit of compassion Ruth’s House has worked to supply clothing to individuals and families in need throughout the Greater Merrimack Valley.
Referred to us by over 35 human service agencies and faith-based organizations, those we help are truly the heartbeat of Ruth’s House. Many are homeless, in poor health, or in shelters trying to rebuild their lives…and our mission is to help them do just that.
The Thrift Shop at Ruth’s House accepts gently-worn clothing and shoes, unused or gently-used household items (including furniture, small appliances, and electronics), home decor, jewelry, and art. And for the shoppers out there, you never know what great deal you’ll find at this small shop in Lafayette Square so come in often. But you can be sure that your donated items or store purchases directly support the mission to help those in need in Haverhill and surrounding communities. That’s definitely a win-win for Earth Day and every day.
The Thrift Shop at Ruth’s House Store Hours:
Tuesday-Friday, 9am-5pm & Saturday, 9am-3pm
Donation Hours (Please ring the bell at the rear of the store):
Tuesday-Friday, 9am-4pm & Saturday, 9am-2pm
Visit www.ruthshouse.org for more information.
(c) by Alison Colby-Campbell except where identified as being sourced by another.