Main Street 'Bridge to Bridge' clean-up is a picnic for volunteers

By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Thu., May. 19, 2011
Volunteers Ed Mirek, Marybeth Walter and Ken Walter scrape old paint off a Main Street fire hydrant before repainting. They were among dozens of volunteers who turned out to spruce up Main Street May 14. Photos by Frances Taylor.
Volunteers Ed Mirek, Marybeth Walter and Ken Walter scrape old paint off a Main Street fire hydrant before repainting. They were among dozens of volunteers who turned out to spruce up Main Street May 14. Photos by Frances Taylor.

For those traveling through town, Main Street is the first impression of East Hartford. And that's why dozens of volunteers spent a Saturday morning on Main Street– sweeping the sidewalks, picking up trash, painting hydrants and garbage holders.

“It’s our town - we drive up and down Main Street all the time – it’s important that it looks nice,'' said Marybeth Walter, a volunteer who participated in the "Bridge to Bridge Clean-up Day” on May 14.

“Bridge to Bridge'' refers to the area of Main Street between the I-84 overpass and the Richard Torpey railroad bridge. The project was started last year by former Mayor Melody Currey and continued this year by Mayor Marcia Leclerc. Volunteers included employees from Coca-Cola, members of Boy Scout Troop 57, and church groups.

Students from the National Honor Society picked up trash and raked in Center Cemetery.

“It's been good – normally I would not be up this early, but it’s for a good cause, and it’s been enjoyable to be out here with everyone,” said Patrick Shea, an Honor Society member from East Hartford High School. “We've been picking up trash and cigarette butts – there are tons of cigarette butts.''

“The kids have done a superb job,'' said Marc Weinberg, a Town Council member who also turned out for the event. “And I thought it would be good for them to be here, because this is a historic cemetery, with graves of Civil War soldiers,'' Weinberg said. “It looks great now.''

After a morning spent sprucing up Main Street, volunteers gathered in Alumni Park for a picnic of grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. Deb Arrieta, a member of the Economic Commission, said the condition of Main Street is important to overall economic development.

“As a life-long resident of East Hartford, I take pride in Main Street – it’s the first thing people see when they come to East Hartford,'' Arrieta said.

More than a dozen members of The Anointed Tabernacle of Jesus Christ also helped with the clean-up. “It's our city, and we take pride in it,'' said Elder Lamar Belcher, the church pastor. “And by helping our city, we are helping ourselves.''


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