News Flash

2021 City News Releases

Posted on: March 30, 2021

Clean Green Springfield initiative kicks off this spring


Springfield is a beautiful city, but due to the effects of the pandemic and other factors, it noticeably needs some love.  

The City of Springfield is launching “Clean Green Springfield,” a series of City-wide cleanup activities, conducted during the months of April and May. The City departments of Public Information & Civic Engagement, Public Works, Environmental Services, Quality of Place and Planning are working with community partners to issue a challenge to clean up and green up. More than 50 partners and over 600 individuals responded to a March survey conducted by the City, indicating they like the idea and were willing to help.

Environmental Services staff members are currently creating a litter index and have completed a trash assessment analyzing Springfield streams. They found on average 155 pieces of trash in a 100-foot stream section (628,324 total in Springfield area streams). Nearly 60% of trash found in streams is plastic and on average there were 14 cigarette butts found in the stream (57,797 cigarette butts in Springfield area streams).

Citizens reported to the Citizen Resource Center more than 1000 complaints about trash and debris in the right-of-way and more than 2000 trash-related nuisances on private property in 2019.

“We want to be known as the cleanest city in the state,” said Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement. “Our citizens are incredibly giving of their time and once they become aware of a problem, they want to be a part of the solution.”

Both individuals and groups are encouraged to participate in one or more of numerous cleanup and beautification opportunities, including neighborhood cleanups, roadside trash pickups, plantings, stream cleanups and more.

Scott hopes that efforts will serve as a catalyst for deeper, broader community discussions about community beautification, ownership and pride; new and improved, smarter municipal regulations and practices around trash and the environment; increased numbers of registered neighborhoods; and increased numbers of citizen groups or members of groups dedicated to the beautification cause.

“At the very least, we hope that these activities remind us all to simply not litter. I see young children encouraging their families to help pick up trash and more importantly, to not litter in the first place. Maybe we should learn from that. We may also uncover additional challenges to the affordability of waste disposal. At any rate, we have been blown away by the early positive response to this idea and are excited about the project,” she said.

Director of Quality of Place Initiatives, Tim Rosenbury is heading up the beautification efforts, which will include adding plantings and other aesthetically pleasing elements on public right-of-ways. ““There’s plenty of research correlating civic beauty and economic success in communities. This initiative is Springfield’s chance to impact its future, through citizen involvement,” Rosenbury said.

City Manager Jason Gage is encouraged by the initial reaction to the Clean Green Springfield plans and has dedicated approximately $80,000 to the effort. 

“Springfield is known as the Queen of the Ozarks.  As the region’s largest city, we are the hub for all things.  In addition, other communities look to us to be the example,” Gage said. “A high level of cleanliness is something that our residents, businesses and visitors expect. It is an extension of pride and an example of vibrancy.” 

In addition to the funding of 11 regularly scheduled cleanups hosted by Community Partnership of the Ozarks in registered neighborhoods, the City is encouraging individuals, families and groups to assist with roadside and stream cleanups during April and is hosting point-of-pride cleanups in four locations, beautification projects in several areas of public right-of-way and is partnering with Watershed Committee of the Ozarks to provide free native plants. In May, the City will offer opportunities for no-cost disposal of hard-to-dispose of items such as tires, mattresses, appliances, televisions, computer, electronics and household chemicals.

How to Get Involved: 

(All details and a simple registration process can be found at
 Individuals & Families

Lighter cleanup activities ideal for individuals or families of all ages.   

Sign up as an individual or volunteer with your family to help clean up litter from roadways, streams and significant sites around Springfield. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, and experience a part of Springfield that may be near and dear to your heart or new to you. 

Activities include lighter physical activities and are ideal for all ages and time commitment levels. 

Point of Pride Cleanups

Each Saturday in April, the City will host a cleanup at a location significant to Springfield. Bring your family or team to lend a hand to make these locations the point of pride they are.  

Roadway & Stream Cleanups

Through the City’s Adopt-a-Street and Adopt-a-Stream programs, committed volunteers keep our city’s roadways free from litter and debris. The City provides the trash bags, you tell us when and where to pick them up when filled!

Volunteer Teams

Sign up to help as a club, group or organization. Great for team building!

Perfect for civic groups, school clubs, social circles and other volunteer groups, register as a team to show your community pride and give back by cleaning up and greening up Springfield. These activities are a mix of lighter, all-ages work as well as opportunities that may require more physical activity, a slight amount of training or a green thumb.

Support Neighborhood Cleanups

Eleven of the City’s registered Neighborhood Associations are hosting Neighborhood Cleanup days throughout the Spring. Sign up to help with a variety of activities, including helping neighbors unload items, bulky item pickup throughout the neighborhood, and cleaning up alleyways and other neighborhood sites.  

Dump Site Cleanups

Volunteer to help crews from Springfield Public Works clean up one of a large number of illegal dumping sites across the city. Ideal for smaller teams up for a challenge.

Beautification Projects

Green thumb encouraged!   A number of tree planting and beautification events will be held throughout the month of April, including landscaping in roadway medians and in the City’s rights of way.  

Businesses provides helpful hints on what businesses can do to get involved and spiff up their properties.     

Businesses are also encouraged to get involved by registering a volunteer team of employees to participate in any cleanup event or by choosing to help clean up the roadways and public right-of-way areas nearby their properties. The City will provide the trash bags, you tell us when and where to pick them up when filled!   

The Schedule:

Clean Green Springfield Packet Pickup and Kickoff: Between 11 a.m.  and 6 p.m., Friday, April 2 at the Busch Municipal Building Parking Lot on the West side of Boonville. Register at and receive a free Clean Green Springfield T-shirt to wear!

Point-of-Pride Cleanup Events

April 3: West Meadows

9 a.m. – noon | Saturday, April 3

Help clean up the new West Meadows Trail and stream section near College Street and Fort Avenue. Trail improvements at this brownfields redevelopment area were completed in fall 2020. Ripe with history, West Meadows includes historic Fulbright Spring, the location of one of Springfield’s earliest settlements. The area was also the location of a Union soldier encampment during the Civil War and lies adjacent to historic Route 66. 

 PARKING: Limited parking at the trailhead at 304 North Fort Avenue. More parking available at the Route 66 Roadside Park (1200 W. College Street).

Jordan Creek 

9 a.m. – noon | Saturday, April 10

Help clean up the section of Jordan Creek and Greenway Trail stretching alongside Kansas Expressway from Grand Street to Mt. Vernon Street. Two bridge reconstruction projects, including pedestrian safety and greenway trail improvements were recently completed in the area, making it a new focus for pedestrian and bike activity connecting to neighborhoods and nearby Cruz Dog Park. 

PARKING: Parking is available at the City Utilities Meter and Service Center at 2115 W. Grand

Wilson’s Creek at Scenic Avenue

9 a.m. – noon | Saturday, April 17

This section of Wilson’s Creek passes nearby Ewing Sports Complex and flows alongside the Wilson’s Creek Greenway Trail. 

PARKING: Parking is available at Ewing Sports Complex (1400 S. Scenic)

 Fassnight Creek at Grant Avenue

9 a.m. – noon | Saturday, April 24

A focal point along the future Grant Avenue Parkway route, Fassnight Creek nearby Parkview High School, Fassnight Greenway Trail and Fassnight Park needs some TLC! Parking at Fassnight Park. 

PARKING: Parking is available at Fassnight Park (1305 S. Campbell.)

 Roadway Cleanups: (Pick the time and days you want!)

More than 150 sections of littered roadway are in need of cleanup! We’ll supply the bags, you tell us when and where to pick them up when filled.

Register for a cleanup and choose from one of four quadrants in the City and our coordinator will pair you up with a section in need.  Have a specific cleanup location or section of roadway in mind?  Let us know where it is and when you plan to clean up the area.

Adopt-A-Street volunteers who adopt a minimum of .5 miles of arterial or collector streets and conduct litter pickup at least three times per year receive recognition on two adopt-a-street signs posted on each end of the adopted street segment as well as recognition on the City’s website.  {Learn more]

Adopt-A-Highway is administered through Missouri Department of Transportation and includes sections of streets and highways under the state’s jurisdiction. This year’s No MOre Trash! Bash kickoff will include virtual events with Adopt-A-Highway volunteers, students and community groups interested in participating in roadside trash pickup. Trash bags and safety vests will be provided to groups engaged in litter pickup.  To participate, visit or call 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636).

Learn more about the statewide 2021 No MOre Trash! Bash Initiative and signup to help cleanup state-managed roadways.   

Stream Cleanups: (Pick the time and days you want!)

Register to schedule a one-time stream or drainage area cleanup and we will connect you with a waterway in need. Perfect for individuals or groups who want to help keep area streams and rivers clean.

For a longer-term commitment, participants in our Adopt-A-Stream Program remove trash, enjoy the stream environment and celebrate the improvements in water quality, parks and trails over time. Adopting organizations receive a recognition sign to be installed after two completed and reported cleanups.  {Learn more]

The City will provide supplies and final removal of all waste collected during the cleanup.

Support a Neighborhood Cleanup 

Eleven of the City’s registered Neighborhood Associations are hosting Neighborhood Cleanup days throughout the Spring. Sign up to help with a variety of activities, including:

            • Bulky item pickup throughout the neighborhood 

            • Clean up alleyways and other sites identified by the neighborhood

            • Help neighbors unload items at the drop-off event 

Cleanup Schedule: 

  • April 3 - Midtown Neighborhood - 8 a.m. – noon – Cox North Parking Lot off Benton Ave.
  • April 10 - Tom Watkins - 8 a.m. – noon – Faith Assembly Church, 3001 W. Division.
  • April 17 - Bradford Park - 8 a.m. – noon –  Walnut Lawn and Kickapoo
  • April 17 - Mark Twain - 8 a.m. – noon – Sunset Church of Christ  - 1222 W. Sunset St. 
  • April 24 - Robberson - 7 – 11 a.m. – Pathways United Methodist Church – 1232 E. Dale
  • April 24 - Woodland Heights - 8 a.m. – noon – 304 W. Chase St. 
  • May 1 – Weller - 8 a.m. – noon – Turning Point Church – 1722 N. National 
  • May 8 – Doling  - 8 a.m. – noon – Christ the King Church – 2357 N. Broadway 
  • May 15 – Rountree 7 – 11 a.m. – University Heights Baptist Church – 1010 S. National
  • May 15 - Phelps Grove / University Heights7 – 11 a.m. - Springfield Art Museum – 1111 E. Brookside
  • May 22 – Westside Betterment - 7 – 11 a.m. – Study Alternative Center – 2343 W. Olive
  • June 5 – Bissett – 8 a.m. – noon – Bissett Elementary – 3014 W. Calhoun

More About Neighborhood Cleanups:

The City of Springfield contracts with Community Partnership of the Ozarks to coordinate free cleanups in registered neighborhoods. Neighborhood residents can dispose of yard waste, old furniture, construction debris and much more free of charge.

Each year, neighborhood cleanups serve approximately 900 households and remove more than 175 tons of bulk waste (furniture, mattresses, appliances and other large items), scrap metal and brush from Springfield neighborhoods. Items that cannot be accepted at the cleanups include tires, TVs, computer monitors, hazardous waste (paint, oil, varnish or fluorescent bulbs) or any other item that poses a threat to the public.

In total, 222 tons and 600 cubic yards of waste and debris, including 114 dumpsters of trash and 20 dumpsters of yard waste, were removed from our city’s neighborhoods in 2020, helping keep them clean for everyone to live, work and play safely.

For more information, contact Hannah King at [email protected].

Dump Site Cleanup (On Call as needed throughout April and May)

Volunteer to help crews from Springfield Public Works clean up one of a large number of illegal dumping sites across the city. These chronic trouble spots require monthly, weekly and sometimes daily cleanup and monitoring by City staff. 

Recommended for adult volunteer teams of 5-10 members who are open to tougher work and possible heavy lifting. 

 Beautification Projects 

Green thumb encouraged!   A number of tree planting and beautification events will be held throughout the month of April, including landscaping in roadway medians and in the City’s rights of way. If you or your group has gardening or agriculture experience, let us know! 

Saturday, April 17 - Median Beautification at Sunset Street and National Avenue
Saturday, May 8 – Intersection beautification at College Avenue & Scenic Street
TBD – Roundabout at Atlantic Street and Robberson Avenue
TBD – Intersection of Atlantic Street and Kansas

The Problem: 

Why is this happening? Where is this trash coming from? 

The simple answer is, it’s coming from ALL OF US. 

  • Litter is intentionally tossed out windows, or unintentionally blows out of uncovered trailers and truck beds. 
  • Residents choose to dump their household waste and bulky items  in an illegal location because they may not have the resources to properly dispose of it. 
  • Regular trash cleanup and volunteer initiatives on a local and state level were suspended due to funding and public health concerns related to COVID.  

 Why this matters!  

What goes on our streets ends up in our streams. Keeping our water resources clean starts with putting trash in its place – the trash can! 

Litter in our community gets washed into storm drains when it rains and ends up in our streams. Based on local stream assessments, it’s estimated that there are over 600,000 pieces of trash in Springfield streams, 60% of which is plastic. Cigarette butts are also a commonly littered item with an estimated 50,000 butts in local streams. Trash affects the use and enjoyment of waterways and trails for popular recreational activities and is a source of pollution that impacts water quality, aquatic life and animals. 

Learn more from the Missouri Department of Conservation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

This is also a community pride issue…

Taking pride in our community means taking responsibility and each doing our part. As Springfield begins to pull itself from the dregs of the pandemic, it’s an important time to take a look around at our individual and community-wide habits and make a change. 

# # #

Clean Green Springfield is a program of the City of Springfield and is presented by: Community Partnership of the Ozarks, KY3/KSPR/CW, KOLR 10 News/Ozarks Fox  and iHeart Radio. 

Partners include: Missouri Department of Transportation, Watershed Committee of the Ozarks and Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

To receive notifications about Clean Green Springfield activities, visit

For more information, contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, at 417-380-3352 or [email protected] or Kristen Milam, Communications Coordinator, at 573-819-3713 or [email protected]


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