Call Us: 508-441-4622

The Big Sweep

Oh, boy: The Bus Stop at Market Basket on a fall morning last year…

“The future is trash. Recycling it, re-arranging it. Making it beautiful again.Chris Campanioni, Death of Art

If that’s the case, then get ready to get really creative on Saturday, April 21st.

That’s when the Earth Day Cleanup, organized by Groundwork Southcoast and Operation Clean Sweep, sponsored by Comcast, happens in New Bedford. You can pre-register to volunteer for the sweep here: Operation Clean Sweep New Bedford.

A few facts: Should you choose to volunteer that day, you won’t be responsible for sweeping the whole Earth. Only parts of this city.

Also, though we dig the group, we should make clear that Groundwork Southcoast is NOT affiliated with this coworking facility, which is Groundwork! with an exclamation point.

Groundwork Southcoast (GWSC) is a non-profit. Its mission is “ is to bring about the sustained regeneration, improvement and management of the physical environment by developing community-based partnerships that empower people, businesses and organizations to promote environmental, economic and social well-being.”

Yeah – that’s not too far off from what this Groundwork! does – but they go about their mission in an entirely different way. And, without a coworking facility, blazing fast wi-fi, free coffee, desks and laptops.

Groundwork Southcoast is run by the groovy Maura Ramsey. Maura and this writer both serve on the Love The Ave steering committee and often make light of the fact that the national group Groundwork set up a Southcoast chapter shortly after this Groundwork! opened up shop. Call it wonk humor.

And, a segue – because on The Ave – Acushnet Avenue – is where you’ll meet for the Earth Day Cleanup at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 21. You’ll meet your fellow street cleaners at the city parking lot behind Cotali Mar restaurant off Sawyer Street, just east of the Avenue proper.

All volunteers receive:


* FREE breakfast provided by Comcast

* FREE t-shirts

* FREE reusable water bottles (while supplies last)

* FREE lunch provided by Domino’s Pizza


* Gloves and tools

* Safety notes

— Please wear closed-toe shoes

**Kids under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian**

A sad but valid criticism of our beloved, funky city is that it is largely a filthy mess. Not just on Acushnet Avenue, but in too many places. It’s still routine to see people tossing garbage out of their cars as if it were the 1960s.

So, clean-up days like this Earth Day Cleanup are not only necessary, but important to help change the disposable mindset that still persists here in New Bedford.

Groundwork! member, Mindy Wallis is a big supporter of clean-up efforts, and you’ll find her at Earth Day Cleanup and most likely several other members.

And for the artistically minded, here’s a link to the book I opened this column with in case you want to indulge your creative side while or after picking up some trash on Sat., April 21st.

Again, you can get more information here: Operation Clean Sweep New Bedford.

Steven Froias