Residents of both Mitchell and Kleefeld took to the streets on Saturday to clean up their communities. The annual community-wide clean-up saw dozens of residents at each location.

Brian Esau is the Ward 2 Councillor for the Rural Municipality of Hanover. He says they had more than 100 volunteers show up in Mitchell and by the end of the day they had collected about 2,750 pounds of garbage from ditches, parks, and back lanes.

He says the difference is noticeable.

"There's a big difference with how the community looks," he says. "We had a lot of people taking ownership of the community, coming out."

And Esau says it was great to see people of all ages helping out. 

"We saw a grandpa with a little wagon with his grandson," recalls Esau. "And he was cleaning up garbage around the arena."

Not only that, but Esau says one resident got a head start by cleaning up about five miles of roadways in the week leading up to Saturday. 

Esau says interest in this event continues to grow, noting the dedication of residents means a lot.

"It means that the people are taking ownership of the community, and they have pride in the community, they want it to look nice," she says. "If we all chip in, it makes the whole community thrive."

Esau says the event also helps the community save money, as they now use volunteers to clean up the garbage instead of paying employees to do the work. 

Volunteers collect garbage in Mitchell (submitted)Volunteers collecting garbage in Mitchell (Photo credit: Brad Kehler)

Meanwhile, a similar event was held on Saturday in Kleefeld. Ward 5 Councillor Darrin Warkentin says they have been holding this event for a handful of years now. He notes on Saturday they had about 60 to 65 volunteers come out to clean the community. He's guessing they collected for sure a couple hundred pounds of garbage, noting it is less than other years.

"I'm thinking now we're finally catching up on some of that garbage that's been hanging around for a while and now we've got ahead," he says, suggesting why they may have collected less this year. 

Similar to Mitchell, Warkentin says they have residents of all ages helping out.

"We have some seniors that are very dedicated to coming out to do stuff like that," he points out. "And then we had quite a few families, parents with young kids towing wagons behind."

Warkentin says this is a great way for parents to teach their children about cleaning up after themselves and about taking pride in their community. 

"When you see a response like this and people coming together," says Warkentin. "It's rewarding to see that camaraderie or that community feel to even something as simple as garbage day cleanup."