The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

‘Get Swept Up’ calls 450 volunteers to clean Starkville streets

A cloudy morning with a threat of rain did not stop hundreds of volunteers from sprucing up Starkville Wednesday morning.

Every football season, an event called “Get Swept Up” asks Starkville residents to clean up the city’s streets on Wednesdays before home football games. The goal is to make the city as appealing as possible to visitors driving into town for the game.

Jennifer Prather, director of Tourism for the Greater Starkville Development Partnership, said about 450 volunteers signed up for the first cleanup.

“That’s typically our number each year,” Prather said. “We are able to expand it every time we have more and more volunteers, which is really exciting. We obviously start in the center of town and expand from there as much as we can. The number of volunteers we have determines the capacity for cleanup area.”

Prather said Get Swept Up allows volunteers from the city come together to make it beautiful, which is a task the community does in harmony.

“This event gives us a unique opportunity for everyone in the community to have one day where we are all focused on the same like-minded goal, and that’s the ability to spruce up our houses, our storefronts and our streets so that we can roll out the red carpet for our visitors that are coming to town,” Prather said. “We want them to be impressed and we want them to have a desire to return to Starkville because of the unique experience we offer them.”

Rotary Club member Allan Tucker said he has volunteered to pick up trash annually for the last 13 years. Tucker has been involved with Get Swept Up almost since the event’s beginning—it has taken place for a total of 14 years.

“When I retired, that’s all I do is volunteer,” he said. “I worked for Habitat for Humanity and First United Methodist Church, so just here and there. I enjoy volunteering and I enjoy helping someone else.”

Tucker’s Get Swept Up responsibility for this first game weekend was to clean up part of Lafayette Street downtown, which he said only took about 30 minutes.

“I went all the way down and back up the other side,” he said. “It’s good to give back to the community and spruce it up a little bit.”

Emily Corvan, originally of Tupelo, said she plans to clean up the street where she lives with the help of Daniel and Libbi Havelin this afternoon.

“All three of us actually live in the northern part of the city off of North Montgomery and those neighborhoods,” Corvan said. “Even the residential streets still accumulate trash. We notice these things every day, and when do you have the time to just pick up trash on the street?”

This was Corvan’s first year volunteering for Get Swept Up. Corvan and the Havelin’s have also recently gotten involved with the Keep Starkville Beautiful initiative, which is a new program aimed at keeping the city litter free and educating people on recycling. Volunteering with Get Swept Up was Keep Starkville Beautiful’s first opportunity to get involved in the community.

“As Keep Starkville Beautiful, we are assisting with an event that’s been going on for a long time,” Corvan said. “We saw it as the perfect opportunity because they are already doing the work that keeps Mississippi beautiful. We asked how we could help make the event more successful.”

Volunteers for Get Swept Up receive a free t-shirt, as well as bottled water, gloves, trash bags and other necessary cleaning supplies.

If you would like to volunteer for the next cleanup, contact the Greater Starkville Development Partnership at 662-323-3322 for information, or fill out the online volunteer form on their website,

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
‘Get Swept Up’ calls 450 volunteers to clean Starkville streets