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Clean Roads and First Impressions

MIDDLE SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP -- Some volunteers helped make streets in the Poconos a little cleaner in a show of community pride.

You only get one chance to make a first impression, and volunteers tried to make sure the neighborhoods near Marshalls Creek impressed those coming to this community in Monroe County.

A group of students from St. John's Catholic Church in Marshalls Creel planted flower beds. Other volunteers collected trash along busy Route 209.

"All the time you just see cigarette butts, like I don't even know how they get here. I guess people throw them out their cars, but you'll just see piles and piles along the road," said Steven Finkle of East Stroudsburg.

The roadside cleanup happens twice a year, and the number of volunteers is growing.

More local businesses and community groups have adopted more sections of the main roads, but everyone takes pride in keeping this part of Route 209 clean.

"In Middle Smithfield Township, it's kind of like our main street. It's the first thing people see. It is the last thing people see, and our businesses are clustered on Milford Road, Route 209, so we like to give everyone a good impression," said Annette Atkinson, township supervisor.

Forest Reeves of Marshalls Creek volunteered to pick up roadside trash and filled his share of garbage bags.

"It's just pretty sad because we have a really beautiful community, and it's really nice out here. We have a lot of natural forests and all the wildlife. It's sad to see all the garbage and for people not to respect it out here," Reeves said.

Organizers said they could always use a few more people to pick up trash and are making plans for the next community cleanup in the spring.

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