Chicopee officials looking to curb littering in city’s downtown

Chicopee officials looking to curb littering in city’s downtown
Updated: Sep. 29, 2022 at 6:00 PM EDT
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CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - City leaders in Chicopee are taking a creative approach to try to clean up the downtown area and they’re asking the brightest young minds for their help.

“We really have an opportunity here to get behind the mayor’s initiative and clean up the downtown to try to attract not only new residents. but also new businesses,” said Chicopee Ward 2 City Councilor Shane Brooks.

Brooks is taking his big ideas from city hall into the streets to try to tackle a long-standing pollution problem in the downtown area.

“We have so, so much to offer and the mayor’s a champion of the city of Chicopee. He wants to make Chicopee the envy of western Mass. That’s been his mantra since the first day he’s taken office and he repeats it often,” Brooks explained.

Brooks, along with Chicopee Mayor John Vieau, the city’s Department of Public Works, and others are leading trash cleanup efforts on exchange street.

“That first step is always been getting some of the blighted buildings and properties addressed. As you can see behind me, there’s a vacant lot that hasn’t been occupied for years,” Brooks noted.

Western Mass News found people in the community taking notice.

“It’s a great idea…I’m all for it and the painting on the buildings looks really good,” said Joe Kaczynski

It’s even led to a partnership with the Chicopee Public Schools to create a design and slogan for Vieau’s campaign to stop littering in Chicopee.

“It’s always fun to engage the younger generation in any city effort. Hopefully, this will remind them of how much our generation and the mayor’s generation love the city of Chicopee and maybe they’ll be more civically engaged at a later point in their life,” Brooks added.

The winner of the contest will even receive a pizza party courtesy of the mayor.

“I heard it was going to be paid for by the mayor and I’m going to hold him to that…All kidding aside, the mayor will host a pizza party for the winners and I’m sure we’ll invite many, many community participants to have a little bit of pizza and discuss their ideas for the city,” Brooks added.

Design and slogan ideas must be submitted by October 30. If you’re looking to help with city cleanup efforts or in any other capacity, you’re encouraged to contact the Chicopee mayor’s office at (413) 594-1500.