VOLUNTEERS PICK UP LITTER INSTEAD OF EASTER EGGS

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COLUMBIA - Columbia will host a litter pickup from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Flat Branch Park.

Volunteers will work along the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail and the creek. MU student Matt McCartney will lead the pickup as part of his service learning.

The city holds more than 120 litter pickups each year. Jody Cook, Columbia’s volunteer program specialist, chooses the pickup sites.

Cook chose Sunday’s location for several reasons. She said it’s a beautiful part of town for volunteers to enjoy working in. Also, this location hasn't received clean-up attention in more than a month.

Flat Branch Park area is downhill from the road and surrounding downtown. Recent heavy rains and winds have swept more debris than normal into the creek and walkways.

Cook also wanted it to be clean for those enjoying the holiday weekend and warmer weather.

“This is a just a well-traveled area, and it’s also close to downtown,” Cook said.

There are more than 160 litter site pickups in Columbia, but Cook said littering is a problem in Columbia even with the amount of sites that get volunteer attention.

“It’s your community,” Cook said. “It’s your backyard. It’s your playground. And we should all recognize that and take care of it.”

The next litter pickup is scheduled for May 11. All necessary supplies are provided on site for volunteers.

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