A hoard of volunteers scattered throughout Peabody last Saturday to take part in the second of a series of volunteer efforts as part of Mayor Ted Bettencourt's "Peabody Pride in Motion" campaign, and when all was said and done, five truckloads of trash and debris had been hauled away by the Department of Public Services.
After meeting at City Hall, volunteers set out on foot and in vehicles to attack littered areas throughout the city, such as the shoreline surrounding Brown's Pond, Spring Pond and Macarthur Park in South Peabody, the Emerson Park area, the major cut-through area of Pulaski Street, Gardner Street and Margin Street.
Bettencourt led a team to the area of Crystal Lake and Bow Street.
Afterwards, Bettencourt expressed his gratitude with all of the volunteers, and in particular the large number of student athletes from Peabody High who spent their Saturday downtown removing trash from along Central Street, Walnut Street, and Railroad Avenue.
"I was particularly gratified to see so many student athletes step up and volunteer," Bettencourt said in a statement. "I grew up feeling a great sense of pride to wear the Peabody uniform and I want this generation to feel the same way. They should be proud of what they did for the city today. Everyone who came out should be proud of their effort."
The effort comes on the heels of a successful inaugural city-wide cleanup event this past May that attracted over 300 volunteers, which was inspired by former Mayor Peter Torigian's "Pride in Peabody" initiative.
Chris Ryder, Bettencourt's chief-of-staff, estimated that Saturday's event did not draw the type of crowd that the spring cleanup did, but said the foyer at City Hall prior to the event was "packed" with volunteers. His rough eyeball estimate was about 150 people.
Ryder added that for future events, the next of which will be scheduled for sometime in the spring of 2013, he and Bettencourt will try to pick a school vacation week or a time when there are fewer sports going on so that the city doesn't lose potential volunteers to game and practice obligations.
Ryan Mooney can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mooney_ryan.