Downtown spring cleanup: making Ellensburg a better place


Yohanes Goodell

Kim-Funston Realtor LEFT Tara K. Brown Senior Loan Officer RIGHT. Photo by Yohanes Goodell

Quincy Taylor, Staff Reporter

Ellensburg community members took the time to come out and help clean up the streets of downtown in honor of Earth Day on April 22.

The Downtown Spring Cleanup is an annual event for all ages to help clean Main Street. This event has been running for 10 years now and continues to grow.

Executive Director of the Ellensburg Downtown Association Brenda DeVore said that this event provided a “sense of place to the community” and that for people to join and to do something good for the community on Earth Day is special.

“I think that increases community spirit and it’s also an opportunity for folks to network, to make friends…just to connect with other people in the community in a unique way,specifically to Earth Day” DeVore said. 

Felicia Easton, who is with the design committee, stated that because of Earth Day, they try to make the environment “as green as possible”.

“[We] try to stay away from using plastic materials that are one-use materials…so any way that we can be as green as possible, we try to reuse all of our supplies year after year,” Easton said.

DeVore said that this event entirely focuses on the environment at hand and that it gets people outside to come work together, especially with spring right around the corner.

“[We] do a zero waste event, so there’s no plastic. We don’t create any trash through this event, and we encourage people to bring their own water bottles and refill those,” DeVore said.

Impact on the community

DeVore said that there are 35 cities across the state of Washington that do a similar event.

According to DeVore, this event will provide an opportunity to volunteer and make a difference in the community for all ages.

“This is a volunteer opportunity that’s for everyone,” DeVore said. “It gives people a chance to push a broom, to powerwash, to do a little bit of gardening…we promote that through all aspects of our organization.”

 DeVore and Easton explained how this event helped to bring the students of CWU and the community of Ellensburg together..

“That has been [the] number one priority in our focus,” DeVore said. “To open the doors for our Central Washington students and faculty to come and enjoy downtown.”

“We really try to keep the avenues between downtown and Central open,” Easton said. “We want to try and encourage them to stick in the area to be a part of our community because it can get kind of secluded down on campus.”

According to Easton, spreading the word about the event to the community is very important because it can lure the public to come and check out what is going on downtown.

“I think word of mouth is huge,” Easton said. “I think working on the social media aspect and getting it out there as much as we can, and having people that come to the event to promote it will help in the future.”

Easton said that she wants downtown to be more enjoyable and free of trash.

Cleaning up downtown

The Downtown Spring cleanup took place at Rotary Pavillion on 4th Avenue and Pearl Street. Volunteers in the community came out in the morning to clean up and make their mark on change in downtown.

Ellensburg resident Andrew Morse shared his thoughts on how it felt to give back to the community on Earth Day and what it meant to feel responsible for making the community healthy for a greener future.

“It feels great,” Morse said. “We are all a part of this community and [we] also have to take responsibility for making sure we have a clean and healthy environment where we live, learn, work and play.”

Morse said he believes that the community is stronger when there is space for people to come together and act as a part of something bigger than themselves.

Mark Holloway, who works at D&M Coffee in downtown, explained how fulfilling it was to look at a job well done.

“I feel good about it when I’m done,” Holloway said. “[I] got some good exercise and I’m doing stuff that is good for the town, so it makes it nice for everybody, it makes me personally feel like I take ownership of my community.”

Kyle Krauskopf, a resident of Ellensburg who moved here a couple weeks ago, described his thoughts on how it felt to make a positive impact to the community in a short time.

“It’s a good feeling,” Kraskopf said. “I just moved here like two or three weeks ago, so I just figured, jump in and help out and meet some people. I’m trying to do as much volunteering and helping out as I can.”

After the event was nearing its end, Easton described how good it was to see people in the community help out so much. According to Easton, over 50 volunteers had come out and they were “eager and ambitious” with their volunteer time.

“It’s really exciting that there’s so many people within our community that want to make it better and want to spend their Saturday morning volunteering of all things,” said Easton.

According to Easton, it was really exciting to see lots of people give back and make a difference to downtown. She stated there was already a difference in the area when people were done with volunteering.

“I hope that it inspires people to want to come out and want to contribute and want to be a part of the community that we have in Ellensburg, and especially downtown,” Easton said.


CWU Student Ellensburg Downtown Association Member, Photo by Yohanes Goodell