City Council President Jesse Lederman Calls for Creation of Springfield Green Corp to Address Litter
Springfield City Council President Jesse Lederman is urging the creation of the Springfield Green Corp to recruit local youth into summer jobs to clean up Springfield neighborhoods and parks, conduct sustainability education across the city, and benefit from leadership and educational programming.
“Keeping our neighborhoods, parks, and civic spaces clean is an essential community responsibility, but looking around we can all see that a better job needs to be done,” said City Council President Jesse Lederman, “The creation of the Springfield Green Corp would provide a unique opportunity to address a city-wide challenge while also providing a financial and educational benefit to youth in our community.”
Under Lederman’s proposal, Springfield Green Corps youth participants would target and cleanup high litter areas throughout the city on a consistent basis, while also participating in high-visibility anti-litter campaigns to engage residents and businesses in their work and provide community education on sustainability practices.
Multiple teams would be made up of students working under the supervision of a District Coordinator, with a Program Director overseeing the program. At this time Lederman is proposing a summer pilot season, however ultimately, the Green Corps could function three seasons a year.
In addition to being paid for their work, Council President Lederman also envisions the program including an educational and leadership component for the youth participants, allowing them to participate in field trips to learn about local industry and career opportunities, meet civic leaders, and receive counseling for their future educational goals.
A similar program in Worcester has been extremely successful, resulting in the removal of 3,000 pounds of trash from city streets. Council President Lederman has been in contact with the Worcester program to understand the financial and logistical commitments necessary to launch such an initiative, and has shared that information with the Office of Mayor Domenic Sarno previously.
On Wednesday, Council President Lederman sent communication to the administration urging the evaluation of possible funding sources for the program, including unexpended proceeds from the Eversource property tax settlement, American Rescue Plan Funds, and leveraging existing state workforce development resources.
“This is a hands-on opportunity for youth to get involved in making a difference in their own city while also addressing a community need that is critical to the future success of Springfield,” said Council President Lederman, “Let’s make 2023 the year that we clean up our streets, literally.”