WORCESTER, Mass. - Cleaning up the city on Earth Day has become an annual tradition for the Regional Environmental Council in Worcester. That tradition continued Saturday.

More than 1,400 volunteers visited more than 70 sites across the city to pick up garbage and beautify neighborhoods in Worcester. Some of those locations included Green Hill Park, the Main South neighborhood, as well as cleaning up the area around the REC's YouthGROW Farm. 

The nonprofit says its main focus is to address food insecurity, but they also look to build healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities. They say the number of volunteers has increased year over year, which is encouraging to see.

"We've been doing the earth day clean ups for 33 years at this point," said Katie Flanagan, who coordinated the cleanup. "I think it's an amazing event for the community to come together to make their neighborhood safer, to beautify the area, and just make it a place everyone can enjoy being outside, just be able to participate safely in their neighborhood. I think it's extremely important. I mean, the youth are the next generation and I think it's super important to plant that seed really early and just really foster care and pride for our city of Worcester and therefor take care of it. I think it's best that we start that early."

The cleanup was sponsored by National Grid. Saturday's clean-up finished with a cook-out for the community.