WORCESTER, Mass. — The weather is warming up as springtime approaches in Worcester, and as the snow melts away, some people are turning their attention to the trash underneath it. 

What You Need To Know

  • On Saturday, the Worcester Green Corps cleaned up the Canal District

  • Volunteers said they joined to show pride for their community

  • Volunteers included longtime residents and college students

  • The group has already scheduled 12 events through the end of April

Now entering its second year, the Worcester Green Corps is seeing more volunteers join its ranks to tackle a trash problem hard to ignore. 

On Saturday, a group of volunteers met at the Worcester Hibernian Cultural Center for a Canal District cleanup, where locals said it’s a much-needed effort. 

“In this neighborhood you can find just about anything,” said volunteer Nathan Saba. “Nip bottles, cigarette packs, food garbage, gloves, clothing, anything.”

Saba, a longtime resident of the Canal District, decided to start pitching in when the Worcester Green Corps spoke at a neighborhood meeting last year. 

He takes a lot of pride in his neighborhood, and said he wanted to take matters into his own hands.

“You want to have a nice clean neighborhood to live in, and this is a great neighborhood to live in with a lot of people in and out,” Saba said. “With the ballpark and everything else, it’s a constant struggle to keep up.”

But as the Worcester Green Corps grows, even those without a longtime connection to the city are taking more interest in the cause. 

Clark University student Sam Cole decided to start doing some community service in his free time to improve his new home away from home.

“Honestly, I don’t view Worcester as just the city I go to school in at this point, it kind of feels like home to me now so I think it’s really important that we keep the city clean, keep everyone safe,” Cole said. “I really just wanted to find a way to give back to the community because I’ve grown to love Worcester and view it as my home now.”

Entering a busy spring and summer for the corps, Coordinator Miranda Hotham said 12 cleanups are already scheduled through the end of April.

A grant from the Worcester Arts Council will also go toward new murals to give their cause even greater visibility.

“I’ve noticed there’s a trend in people who have a lot of interest in the litter problem we have in the city,” Hotham said. “It’s very clear. You can drive anywhere in the city and see the litter. It’s not hiding from anybody and no person is immune to the problem. I think everybody wants to contribute in any way that they can.”

The Worcester Green Corps is a partnership program of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, the City of Worcester, the Worcester Community Action Council and United Way of Central Massachusetts.

For more information on upcoming cleanups and other events, click here.