South Charlotte

Matthews plans Earth Day activities

As part of Matthews’ Earth Day Celebration on April 18, town residents are invited to help clean up, beginning at 8 a.m. in Stumptown Park, 120 South Trade St.

Bring gloves and grabbers if you have them. Trash bags and reflective vests will be provided.

Volunteers will be divided into teams and sent to different parts of town to pick up trash.

Matthews Public Works Director Ralph Messera said town public works staff depends on the volunteers for the annual Operation Litter Sweep to spruce up the town for spring.

“We keep trash picked up the best we can, but litter is always a problem, especially along stretches of road that don’t have any houses on them. Many of the worst roads in our area are the state roads. N.C. Department of Transportation doesn’t have the manpower to keep the litter picked up and neither do we. That’s why programs like Operation Litter Sweep are so important,” Messera said.

During the event, residents will clean for a few hours then gather back in Stumpton Park to enjoy Earth Day Festivities from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Sponsored by Habitat and Wildlife Keepers (HAWK) and the Town of Matthews, the Earth Day celebration will feature information booths of all kinds, ranging from animal rescues to soil and water conservation to master composters. Vendors will be on hand offering earth friendly products and there will be plenty of activities for kids. Free native trees will also be distributed.

For those who want to clean the town more often, Matthews offers an Adopt-A-Spot and an Adopt-A-Street program where residents can adopt a town area or street to keep clear of trash. The program is similar to the Adopt-A-Highway program in place for state roads.

For more information about adopting a Matthews street, contact Matthews Landscape Manager Ralph Ramsaur, 704-708-1250. For more information about Operation Litter Sweep, call Matthews Public Works, 704-708-1240.

Melinda Johnston is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Melinda? Email her at