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City of Pine Bluff bettering the community with city-wide cleanup

City leaders, university students, and residents came together for the city's first clean up since the coronavirus pandemic started.

PINE BLUFF, Ark. — Citizens in Pine Bluff used their Saturday morning to better their community. 

City leaders, university students, and residents came together for the city's first clean up since the pandemic started.

It used to happen four times a year, but since the virus hit in March, it had to stop. 

Now that there's a little chill in the air, Mayor Shirley Washington said the city thought it was time to clean up their streets. 

"We're trying to do a fall clean up, do it early, get it started. Make Pine Bluff clean and beautiful," she said. 

According to Washington, this was the first time they have done all four wards of the city in one day. 

"A clean house is a house that's a welcoming house, so we're trying to clean our house," she said.

College students, community members, and city leaders all came together to spend their Saturday morning picking up trash on the side of the streets they call home.

Among those volunteers was Jawon Bradley. 

"It gives us an opportunity to paint the narrative that I think the city needs, which it is a clean city and it is a positive city," he said. 

Bradley described the city-wide cleanup as "a call to unity."

"Just to see that we can come together as a community. Can we come together and serve one another despite our differences," he said. 

An act of service that, Washington said, goes beyond the gloves worn and trash bags filled. 

"It's going to take a good culture change for people to realize we live here, we have to take pride in our city, and we have to all work together to keep it that clean city that we'll all embrace as our home," she said. 

A home that Bradley hopes, once tidied up, gets to write a different story. 

"That we are a great city, that we aren't what people think we are," he said.

While Washington believes picked up streets starts the foundation of a brand new future. 

"It's going to be critical for us to maintain, to clean and maintain a clean city, as we rebuild and we reinvent Pine Bluff and make it that destination city," she said. 

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Mayor Washington said they will probably have one more city-wide cleanup this fall.

She also mentioned the city will be cracking down on litter bugs. They will soon be pushing for more awareness to stop littering in the city.