The First Annual Bill Kiger Community Cleanup Day, held Saturday, April 24, was an unqualified success with more than 170 adults and 30 young people volunteering participating in a borough-wide cleanup effort. The event was organized by the Milford Enhancement Committee (MEC), in partnership with the Milford Garden Club and Milford Shade Tree Commission.
“We are thrilled with the turnout,” said Eileen Smith, who led the effort and serves as Vice President of the Milford Enhancement Committee. “It shows that many people were eager to volunteer with others for an outdoor activity supporting our community. By the end of the day, we filled more than 90 garbage and bio-bags with trash and debris, raked nearly two miles of verges, mulched dozens of trees and seeded bare areas of the verges throughout the commercial district.”
“It was inspiring to see so many folks willing to volunteer for their community,” said Liz Steen, President of the Milford Garden Club. “Many of our Milford Garden Club members volunteered, providing their expertise as well as ‘elbow grease’”
“Saturday’s event was a kick-off for a number of activities for the Milford Shade Tree Commission this year,” said Thatcher, who chairs the Milford Shade Tree Commission. “Over the past few weeks, we’ve ground more than 40 stumps all over Milford and in the coming weeks we will be planting 30 more trees to keep Milford’s ‘urban forest’ in great condition”.
The volunteers gathered at 9 a.m. at the Milford Community House on the corner of Broad and Harford Streets and enjoyed bagels and cream cheese donated by Naked Bagel. Many businesses, faith communities and clubs were represented with cleanup delegations from the Delaware Valley Action, Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureua, Cub Scouts and Boy Scout Troops, DVHS Honor Society, Realty Executives, Keller-Williams Realty, Milford Hospitality Group, Hotel Fauchere, GAIT Therapeutic Riding Center, as well as many friend and family groups.
Milford Enhancement Committee board member Larry O’Leary coordinated donations of trash and bio-bags, rakes, gloves, grass seed, mulch and other equipment and supplies from Home Depot. Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, PennDOT and Milford Borough also provided help. At noon, the volunteers met at the Ann Street Park and enjoyed pizzas donated by the Dimmick Inn and sandwiches donated by the Milord Diner and the Hotel Fauchere. Milford Borough’s Streets Department promptly picked up more than 90 bags of garbage and debris collected. Turano Insurance sponsored colorful tee-shirts and the Milford Garden Club provided collector buttons for all the volunteers. Christopher King, from Endless Echo Productions, videotaped the volunteers in action.
The event is named after legendary Milford civic leader Bill Kiger, who has been in the forefront of community improvement efforts for decades, including at various times, serving on the Milford Borough Council, as president of the Pike County Historical Society, chair of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce’s tourism committee and today remains instrumental with the Historic Preservation Trust of Pike County (where he currently serves as its President) and as a board member of the Milford Enhancement Committee.
Bill notes his own inspiration comes in large part from his family. “My mother, Georgiana, served as president of the Milford Garden Club for two terms in the 1950s, co-founded the Pike County Arts & Crafts Group and was the first head of the Milford Shade Tree Commission. She also organized the ‘Tree Bees’ in the 1950s and I’m sure she would have been very pleased to see the amazing effort this past Saturday.”