BETHANY >> Back in 1970, a group of concerned citizens started a “Rid Litter Day” in conjunction with Earth Day to pick up litter by the sides of Bethany’s many roads. People from all over town took part in keeping Bethany beautiful. It was a tradition for a number of years.

The Heart of Bethany, a collaboration of organizations in Bethany, decided last summer that re-imagining Rid Litter Day would express their stated purpose: “With a desire for a thriving and unified community, the Heart of Bethany is committed to deepening our townwide sense of place and belonging by inviting new connections through meaningful gatherings, shared resources and neighborly service.”

The goal of the project is to bring the entire town and all of its organizations together in a fun day of neighborly service. Already, the Lions Club, the Democratic and Republican Town Committees, the Library, the Churches of Bethany, the Community School, the Scouts, the Land Trust, the Rotary, the Public Works Department, Parks and Recreation, and the Historical Society are on board to participate.

Rid Litter Day is scheduled to take place Saturday, April 9, 9 a.m. to noon, with a rain date of April 30.

The town will be divided into four quadrants with an area captain coordinating all the streets in each quarter. Each neighborhood then needs a neighborhood coordinator to invite their neighbors to come out and join in the clean up. The neighborhood coordinators are encouraged to make this fun for their neighbors by offering a box of joe and donuts or some other way to visit with one another in the process of picking up litter. Coordinators can get bags and safety vests from their area captain, and will be informed about where trash pick-up sites will be located. The public works department has volunteered to pick up trash at designated sites all over town.

Residents interested in being a neighborhood coordinator should contact Stu Horton at hortonwho2425@sbcglobal.net. Community service hours are available for students who would like to take this role.

Following the clean up, the “Beauty of Bethany Bash” will take place at Town Hall from noon to 2 p.m. Every restaurant in Bethany has volunteered to donate food to the event. The Community School choir will be on hand to sing “The Bethany Song,” and the local bands, Creamery Station and The Forresters, have volunteered to play.

There will be a fundraiser for this event on Wednesday, March 9, at the Country Corner Diner in Bethany. Get your coupon from the Heart of Bethany Facebook page and present it upon ordering. 20 percent of the proceeds will go to purchase bags, vests, gloves and refreshments for Rid Litter Day.

Elementary aged students have been invited to enter a poster contest for Rid Litter Day through their art class at school. The winning poster will be enlarged and posted by the old Fire Station on Route 63. All posters submitted to the contest will be exhibited in a special Rid Litter art show at the Clark Library.

Videographers are also invited to exhibit their work in a video exhibition by creating 30-60 minute videos that inspire people to take part in Rid Litter Day. Entries will be posted on the Heart of Bethany Facebook page in advance of the event.

For more information about Rid Litter Day, search The-Heart-Of-Bethany on Facebook.