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Auburn celebrates Earth Day with annual Clean Sweep event


For over 15 years Auburn has been celebrating Earth Day and springtime with some good old-fashioned elbow grease.  Auburn’s annual Clean Sweep event is the city’s largest community volunteer effort.  The event is described as “a chance to work together on projects to benefit the entire community.”  Mayor Backus shared that it was also “a great way to love your city.”clean sweep, earth day

The Clean Sweep event begins Saturday, April 21st at 7:30am with breakfast and registration at City Hall (25 W Main Street).  Breakfast for the event will be prepared by Kiwanis Club of Auburn.  The event officially kicks off at 8:15am with Mayor Backus’ address, followed by the ceremonial sweep down the sidewalks of Main Street at 8:30am.  After the ceremonial sweep groups will go to their assigned project locations, with a project start goal of 9:00am.


Event Participants

The event does not have sponsors, but currently has 770 people registered for Clean Sweep. Many are small family groups or individuals.  Participants not yet registered can do so on-site the morning of the event at City Hall.   The larger groups and organizations registered for the event are:

  • Alaska USA Federal Credit Union
  • Alpine Ridge Insurance
  • Auburn High School – Latino Club
  • Auburn High School Latino Club
  • Auburn Junior Football and Cheer
  • Auburn Mountainview Key Club
  • Auburn Police Department
  • Auburn Prevention Coalition
  • Auburn Sons of Italy
  • Auburn South and North McDonald’s, PENCO
  • Auburn Youth Councilclean sweep, earth day
  • Black Student Union
  • Boy Scouts Pack 460
  • Cardinal Health
  • Cascade Orthopedics
  • Circle K International
  • Cub Scout Pack 432
  • Cub Scout Pack 478
  • Cub Scout Pack 506
  • Don Small & Sons
  • Girl Scout Troop 42452
  • Girl Scout Troop 42737
  • Grace Community Church/Life Group
  • Ilalko Elementary School Green Team
  • Lakeland Hills Park Play Structure (AveryStrong)
  • Latinos Unidos
  • Lions District 19C
  • Local Brix
  • New Day Christian Fellowship
  • PyungAn Church
  • Rotary Club of Auburn
  • Satguru Ram Singh Satsang (SRSS)
  • TREAD 3219 Auburn High’s FIRST Robotics Team
  • West Auburn High School

Planned project for the event

With 770 individuals currently registered, the Clean Sweep event promises to be a productive day.  The city’s Parks Department has a planned list of projects for the day that groups will be assigned to work on.  Groups will be accompanied by city employees as necessary. 

Project Location Description of Tasks
Auburndale Park Remove invasive plants from the wooded area
Backyard Idea Garden at Veterans Memorial Park If weather allows than volunteers will paint the outside of the potting shed and the trellis with an oil-based paint. If can’t paint due to weather; volunteers will remove ivy from walls of the potting shed, pick up downed limbs, and remove weeds from the flower beds around the Garden.
Cedar Lanes Park Pruning and removing understory in the woods to open view corridors and remove ivy from trees
Fenster Nature Park Fenster Nature Park beautification (includes picking up trash and cleaning signs), invasive plant species removal (ex. Blackberry, ivy, Scotch Broom), spreading mulch around previous plantings to suppress grass/invasive growth around the plantings
Interurban Trail Pick up litter on both sides of the trail and spray out graffiti
Auburn Justice Center Basic clean up around Justice Center; weed planter beds as needed; Pressure wash various areas; Stain wood gates; Rake out or sweep out and pick up leaves from areas and clean parking lot
Lakeland Hills Park Assemble and install the new playground, help mix concrete, remove invasive plants from the wooded area, spread fiber chips, and mulch.
Mill Pond Park Remove cattails from around pond, trim blackberries, remove litter throughout park and parking lot, rake grass and pick up trimmings; sweep sidewalks; pick up pruned shrubs along the trail. Put all of the debris into the 20-yard dumpster and all of the trash into garbage bags.
Isaac Evans Park Spread mulch in parking lot beds
Rotary Park Weeding shrub beds, pruning ground cover and juniper hedge and spreading bark.
Scootie Brown Park Weed shrub beds and spread mulch; Pick up litter throughout the park; Remove dirt piled up along backstop and baseball field fencing
White River Trail Paint over the graffiti on the corrugated wall of the White River trail North of Auburn Valley Humane Society building.
Mountainview Cemetery Spread bark in and around landscape areas.



“I really enjoy the fact that over 1% of Auburn’s population is willing to give up a Saturday and make our community a little better,” shared Auburn Parks Department Director Daryl Faber. “The action of parents and others teaching kids and others the value of volunteerism is of greater significance to me than the value of the projects; although getting a few needed things done is always nice!”


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