A much cleaner city

Minot received a facelift Friday, one bag of trash at a time.

In what a spokesman for the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce called “the best turnout we’ve ever had,” hundreds of volunteers participated in Project CLEAN Friday. CLEAN is an acronym for Community Leaders Enhancing Area Neighborhoods.

The Chamber distributed more than 1,500 trash bags to volunteer leaders who wished to participate in Project CLEAN. Volunteer groups began picking up trash at various locations throughout the city at 9 a.m. The annual effort is for the purpose of sprucing up the city as summer approaches.

Among the volunteers participating Friday were several personnel from Minot Air Force Base. They were concentrating their efforts along Burdick Expressway East and quickly filled trash bags with a variety of litter, large and small.

“We’re trying to help out and clean up the expressway here,” said Sgt. Adrian Brown, Minot AFB. “Actually, this is what we’re all about in the military. It’s just part of being community, part of the call. You enjoy it. It gives us a sense of pride and belonging with the locals.”

Brown, and others in the group, are members of the 5th Maintenance Squadron from the 5th Bomb Wing. They filled several trash bags within minutes of beginning their volunteer work, which initially took them along the Souris River near the 9th Street entrance to Eastwood Park. Within minutes several trash bag were filled and the area was transformed to a clean, natural state. It was exactly what Project CLEAN was designed to do.

“We’re helping out the community,” remarked Airman 1st Class Benjamin Bly, Minot AFB, organizer and contact person for the volunteer group. “We’re all in the Air Force. We all do maintenance on the B-52’s.”

Volunteers for Project CLEAN were asked to sign up for designated areas. While Bly and his fellow volunteers were concentrating their efforts within the city, other volunteers found plenty to do at other locations. According to the Chamber, special emphasis was placed on cleaning up entrances to Minot.