Elsewhere in this issue of the newspaper, you might notice the announcement of the annual Walnut Street cleanup coming up April 2. Partners of Peabody Parks and the Peabody Main Street Association have jointly sponsored this event for a couple of years.
Since there are a number of events on tap for the spring and summer months, members of those two groups gather volunteers and clean Walnut Street from Ninth to Santa Fe Park. Walnut is the street visitors will take to attend the Sleepy Creek concert series or Doyle Valley Farmers Market at Santa Fe Park.
The entire downtown plays host to those who spend the Saturday before Memorial Day enjoying the historical flare of Operation Celebration. That is also the weekend for class reunions and returning former residents who enjoy looking over the old hometown.
July Fourth attracts visitors from all over the state and the parade down Walnut Street is a big part of the festivities for that event.
Someone said Walnut Street is like the sidewalk to the front door of our community. It should be clean and inviting when company comes — and we have a lot of company during the summer months!
So I have a couple of suggestions for all six of my regular readers and any others who just happen to find themselves reading this opinion. Volunteer! Yup, bring a rake, broom, or shovel to Santa Fe Park at 9 a.m. April 2 and get an assignment. Only have time to sweep the gutter for one or two blocks? That’s OK, they still can use you.
Another thing that would help would be for Walnut Street residents to clean out the gutters in front of their own property before the cleanup day. It won’t hurt any of us to do that and we could create a couple yards of real estate that the volunteers could skip.
I’m sure someone is going get all cranky with me and ask why the city doesn’t use the street sweeper to clean the gutters. Gee, I’m glad you asked! The reason is that the gutters are in pretty bad shape. Most of them are 100 years old. They are broken in many places; dirt and debris are packed into areas where the concrete is missing. The street sweeper is not capable of reaching it. It can clean the street, but not the gutters.
So we are back to volunteer labor. POPPs and Peabody Main Street will provide bottled water and lunch and lots of appreciation. Thank you in advance for anything you can do to help clean the sidewalk to our community. I always knew you were a good egg!
— Susan Marshall