Youth play key role in project to clean up downtown

Their efforts drive Pick It Up Fort Dodge

Local students from elementary school to high school will have a key role in a unique effort to keep downtown Fort Dodge looking good.

The money to pay for this effort is coming from a surprising source: the Iowa Arts Council. That agency gave the city government and Main Street Fort Dodge a $10,000 grant to pay for a project that would address the cleanliness of downtown. Locally, the decision was made to use that money for what is now being called Pick It Up, Fort Dodge. It includes painting big garbage bins, educating people on the need for recycling and adding smaller trash cans throughout the downtown.

Kids have already painted some of the big, once drab-looking garbage bins downtown. They will now have a key role in providing the 20 additional small garbage cans commissioned through the program.

Industrial technology students at Fort Dodge Senior High School have designed the containers and will manufacture them after classes resume this fall.

Each of those containers will have places on two sides where panels decorated with art work can be inserted. The art that will be on those panels was created by students ranging in age from pre-schoolers to fifth graders. A coloring contest featuring the Pick It Up Fort Dodge logo was held. There were 36 entries in the contest and 20 of them were selected to be featured on the new containers.

It was hoped that the new, decorated containers would debut last May. But, as it has with so many other things, COVID-19 wrecked that plan.

The good news is that the containers will be produced. Hopefully, they will be on the streets in October.

It is good to have a fresh emphasis on picking up downtown.

Getting the students involved and giving them a role in their community was an excellent move by Main Street Fort Dodge.

We look forward to seeing the students’ work and encourage everyone to Pick It Up, Fort Dodge.


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