Mayor asks citizens to lend hand in sprucing up city

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April 29, 2011
Cumberland Times-News

CUMBERLAND — Mayor Brian Grim has issued a challenge to every Cumberland resident to help clean up the city.

“The city of Cumberland is crying out for citizens to step up, take the lead and make a difference. And that’s precisely what I’m challenging every citizen to do,” said Grim.

Grim has named his effort to clean up Cumberland the Mayor’s Challenge, asking citizens to “get your hands dirty cleaning up Cumberland.” Grim has launched the effort, effective May 1 through Aug. 30, asking everybody who lives, works or goes to school in Cumberland to volunteer 25 hours during the summer months on beautification projects in the city.

“On the weekend of April 23, Boy Scout Troop 9 and Scoutmasters Stephen Nelson and John Chapman set the bar with a cleanup of the Greene Street hillside across from Dollar General. That challenge only cost them a few hours, but makes a tremendous difference in that neighborhood,” said Grim.

The first effort that the mayor encourages citizens to sign up for is the Day of Caring and Sharing on May 20, sponsored by the Allegany County United Way. Volunteers will participate in organized cleanup and beautification projects in every Cumberland neighborhood. “I’m asking every Cumberland business to take this challenge by participating in the Day of Caring and Sharing by giving your employees the morning off, with pay, to join in this citywide effort,” said Grim. To register, call the United Way office at 301-722-2700.

Other beautification projects are also being considered and efforts to coordinate with local businesses, property owners and corporate stakeholders such as CSX are under way, the mayor said.

“We need citizens to step forward and take charge of needed cleanup efforts in their own neighborhoods, but we’re also working on larger efforts like a revitalization and painting of the Virginia Avenue underpass,” said Grim. Volunteers are also needed to join with neighborhood associations to assist with already planned cleanup efforts.

Volunteers who take Grim’s Mayor’s Challenge are entitled to a free T-shirt, according to Grim. “People who want to help can visit to sign up, tell what you have done to make a difference, even submit photos of your efforts, and earn a T-shirt for giving 25 hours to making an impact in Cumberland.”

The person who volunteers the most hours in four months will receive a special recognition.

Donations from businesses and individuals who support the Mayor’s Challenge are being accepted to cover the cost of recognitions for volunteers. Full details about donating or signing up for the challenge are available online at

“It’s time for us all to get our hands dirty. We’re all in this together and only if we work together as one community can we reshape and revitalize our city. Government is not the answer to all of our problems and that’s why I’m calling on everybody to join me in doing the hard work that it takes to transform Cumberland’s image.”