A small army of over 200 volunteers showed up for the Memorial Drive Cleanup Day last Saturday ready to work.
Community volunteers, along with several county and state officials, met at the Georgia Perimeter Clarkston campus on Saturday morning to pick up their gear and receive final instructions.
“I have been a champion of the revitalization of Memorial Drive. After 22 years of decline, [Memorial Drive] is finally getting some attention," said Commissioner Sharon Barnes-Sutton (District 4).
DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis also attended the cleanup day, briefly addressed the crowd of volunteers and stressed the importance of creating jobs and cleaning up the county.
Rev. Martin Hawley, pastor of Truth Tabernacle of Praise, prayed for the safety of the volunteers The workers were then dispatched to the different sites along the Memorial Drive corridor.
The clean up effort lasted three hours and the volunteers tackled a variety of tasks including removing litter and illegal signs, clearing storm drains, doing sidewalk and MARTA bus stop maintenance, and clearing roadways of old GDOT materials.
The Memorial Drive Merchants Association, Commissioners Barnes-Sutton and Stan Watson, along with State Representatives Michelle Henson and Karla Drenner sponsored the cleanup day and took part in its activities.
“I’ve been working on cleaning up [Memorial Drive] for 10 years," Drenner said. “People are taking this seriously. It’s starting to catch on.”
Nick Geobeler, owner and operator of the Memorial Drive Chick-Fil-A, is the head of the Memorial Drive Merchant Association and played a major role in organizing the cleanup day. Geobeler provided breakfast sandwiches and lunch for all the volunteers who participated.