Group pitches in to clean streets, build pride

Published 12:01 am Thursday, October 17, 2019

NATCHEZ — One small group of citizens is building community pride one bologna wrapper and broken beer bottle at a time.

Wednesday evening, a group of approximately 10 residents filled large industrial strength trash bags with litter they picked up on Canal Street between Fat Mama’s Tamales and the Natchez Visitor Reception Center.

On their walk, the men and women discarded everything from broken bottles to leftover lunchmeat wrappers found along the sidewalks and in the overgrown grass along the busy road.

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Katie McCabe said the group has been getting together one or two days a week for the past couple of weeks to make the downtown streets more presentable before this weekend’s balloon race.

“We were just a few friends and we were walking downtown and noticed there seemed to be a lot of litter,” McCabe said. “So we thought why don’t we do something.”

In the past couple of weeks, McCabe said the group has picked up trash, cleared out gutters and pruned overgrown trees on Main, Franklin and Broadway streets and on the Natchez trails along the bluff.

“We have been doing a lot before balloon races to get a lot done before tourists come into town,” McCabe said.

Some members of the group have used time they already spent walking their dogs or taking a stroll around the block with their children to also include picking up trash.

On Sunday and Wednesday, Renee Wall could be seeb pushing her daughter Catherine Grace in her pink toy car while reaching down to pick up bits of paper and trash.

“Why not pick up trash while you are already out walking around town,” Wall said.

Although the group is not formally organized, McCabe said she has started the Facebook page called Project Cleanup — Natchez (  to communicate when and where the group plans to be in the future.

“I created the page because so many people I do not know have said they are interested,” McCabe said.

McCabe said she hopes the effort will also focus on other areas outside of downtown. She said she also hopes to work with other organizations who are also helping clean downtown, including the local Kiwanis Club, which is planning to help pick up trash after the balloon race.

McCabe said the group doesn’t intend to become a formal organization.

“We are just a loose group of concerned residents,” McCabe said. “Ultimately I feel like this is a project about building community pride, if nothing else.”