Make Gahanna Yours is continuing efforts to beautify the city.

The citizen-driven, volunteer-based 501(c)(3) organization will sponsor a citywide litter cleanup, Cleaner Greener Gahanna, from 10 a.m. to noon April 28. The rain date is noon to 2 p.m. April 29.

Anyone who wants to volunteer should sign up at makegahannayours .com.

Participants will assemble at Friendship Park, 150 Oklahoma Ave., to receive an assigned area to clean.

Trash-recycling bags, gloves and other tools will be provided.

"The Make Gahanna Yours committee has previously cleaned sections of Hamilton Road, U.S. 62, the Hamilton Road entrance and exit ramps, and Granville and Mill streets. But recently Tom and I noticed how much trash has gotten trapped in fence and tree lines around Gahanna over the winter," said Becky Kneeland, a founder of Make Gahanna Yours and the wife of Gahanna Mayor Tom Kneeland.

"(Tom and I) both think the presence of litter is an open invitation to more littering," she said.

When Make Gahanna Yours was formed in 2016, she said, city beautification and making Gahanna litter-free were two of the major focuses.

"As a result, Make Gahanna Yours is inviting residents, businesses, schools and community groups to participate in a Cleaner Greener Gahanna litter cleanup," she said.

Kneeland said she hopes the effort will help beautify the city and reduce the impact of litter on the environment.

"Working together with volunteers and several city departments, this initiative will have a visible, positive impact on our community," she said. "Litter negatively impacts the environment, the aesthetic appeal of our community and even economic development."

By volunteering for this event, Kneeland said, residents send a strong anti-litter message and demonstrate a commitment to improving the community.

Those unable to participate April 28 are encouraged to clean up around their neighborhoods and put the litter in their regular trash.

"Thanks to organizations like Make Gahanna Yours, we've seen an increase in community pride and an interest in keeping our city beautiful," Tom Kneeland said. "Through their efforts and the support of the Gahanna Ministerial Association and Gahanna Lincoln High School's DECA program, close to 100 volunteers have signed up to participate in the upcoming citywide cleanup day on April 28."

He said volunteering is something everyone can do.

"I hope that more residents and businesses will pitch in and get involved, to help us keep our city clean and green," he said.

In conjunction with the litter cleanup, Make Gahanna Yours also is hosting a Cleaner Greener Gahanna poster contest, that continues through April 27.

The contest is limited to Gahanna school children in divisions of grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.

Winners will be chosen in early May, and three winning posters from each age group will be displayed at Gahanna City Hall.

One additional poster will be chosen as the Cleaner Greener Gahanna poster of the year.

More information about the contest and cleanup can be found at www.makegahannayours.com.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla