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Downtown PKB’s Ambassador Program receives donation

Provides for cleanup effort downtown

Wood County Commissioner and Wood County Solid Waste Authority board member Blair Couch; Wendy Shriver, executive director of Downtown PKB; Wood County Solid Waste Authority board member Andy Hartleben and Stacy DeCicco, executive director of the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley. (Photo by Brett Dunlap)

PARKERSBURG –People doing work to clean up the downtown area will be able to continue this winter after a donation from the Wood County Solid Waste Authority will buy coats for those who participate.

During Thursday’s meeting of the Wood County Commission, the Wood County Solid Waste Authority contributed $2,500 for the Ambassador Program of Downtown PKB and the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley which helps keep the downtown area cleaned up by using people from the Recovery Point center. These people pick up trash, pull weeds and do other programs to help keep the area clean.

“We provided them some safety vests,” said SWA Director John Reed. “They called back and said if they had coats that looked like the vests they could continue this program throughout the winter.”

The SWA board approved to give $2,500 to the program for the coats and to pay for other things they may need.

They have had 86 volunteers helping with the program with 76 from Recovery Point, said Wendy Shriver, executive director of Downtown PKB. They have collected 7,961 pounds of trash over 254 city blocks and have averaged around 357 bags of trash.

“We have gotten a lot of comments from people about how they have never seen downtown look this clean in a very long time. This gives them an opportunity to give back to the community,” Shriver said.

“It gives them a positive experience. They are getting reinforcement that what they are doing is making a difference,” she said.

People will stop to talk to them about what they are doing. People are thanking them for the work they are doing.

“Having that positive reinforcement helps them have that good feeling that they are doing something that will make a difference in the community,” Shriver said.

Participants in the program will be doing snow removal in the winter months and organizers are looking for inside projects they could do.

The McDonough Foundation, DuPont and Chemours have provided support for the program, which has purchased tools and provided space to store them.

“As the program grows we hope to start seeing donations come in from the community,” said Stacy DeCicco, executive director of the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Brett Dunlap can be reached at bdunlap@newsandsentinel.com

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