News Flash

City of Springfield Environment News Releases

Posted on: March 15, 2023

Registration now open for Clean Green Springfield 2023 volunteer opportunities


Springfield is a beautiful city, but in recent years the community is noticeably struggling with the negative impacts of trash and litter. You can be a part of the solution by joining Socials_v2-01Clean Green Springfield!

Springfield Mayor Ken McClure announced Wednesday that the City of Springfield and partner organizations are relaunching the Clean Green Springfield initiative with a fresh series of city-wide cleanup and beautification activities planned during the months of April and May 2023. Individuals, families, businesses and service organizations are invited to roll up their sleeves and participate in one or more opportunities including: roadside trash pickups, stream cleanups, planting and mulch events, neighborhood cleanups and more. Special disposal opportunities will also be offered for items that are difficult for residents to dispose of, including mattresses, tires, and household chemicals.     

Since launching in 2021, Clean Green Springfield has engaged more than 2,000 volunteers contributing more than 2,500 service hours to cleanup and beautification activities, and removing more than 25 tons of litter from our streets and waterways. The program has also aided in the responsible disposal of more than 200 tons of trash and bulky items that might otherwise be dumped along roadways. 

“The community made such an impact with Clean Green Springfield in 2021 not only with how much litter and trash we collected, but in how many people came together and connected toward a common purpose,” explains Director of Public Information and Civic Engagement Cora Scott. “The City and our partners are officially issuing a challenge to the community to make Clean Green 2023 even bigger and more impactful. If we each do our part, Springfield will continue to be the beautiful city we know it to be.” 

Recent discussions at City Council meetings have reenergized this Clean Green effort, as Mayor Ken McClure and City Council members urge staff to seek solutions to preventing litter, as well as recruit adopt-a-street and adopt-a-stream partners. The City plans to launch an anti-littering PSA campaign, along with the volunteer recruitment effort. 

“Taking pride in our community means taking responsibility and each doing our part,” said Mayor McClure. “It means looking around at our habits as individuals, neighborhoods, organizations, businesses, and as a community and getting involved and making a change.”

The City’s Environmental Services Department is investigating the causes of litter and making suggestions for ways to address the problem. Additional enforcement measures could be inevitable, according to City Manager Jason Gage. 


The Problem: 

Environmental Services’ most recent trash assessment analyzing Springfield streams found on average 140 pieces of trash in a 100-foot stream section (560,000 total in Springfield area streams). More than 60% of trash found in streams is plastic and on average there were 13 cigarette butts found in the stream (53,000 cigarette butts in Springfield area streams).

Citizens reported to the Citizen Resource Center more than 1,100 complaints about trash and debris in the right-of-way and nearly 2,500 trash-related nuisances on private property in 2022.

Why is this happening? Where is this trash coming from?

The simple answer is, it’s coming from ALL OF US. 

  • Litter is intentionally tossed out windows or unintentionally blows out of uncovered trailers and truck beds. 
  • Businesses and residences leave dumpsters and bins unmanaged and often overflowing.
  • Residents choose to dump their household waste and bulky items in an illegal location because they may not have the resources to properly dispose of it. 


Why this matters!  

What goes on our streets ends up in our streams. Keeping our water resources clean starts with putting trash in its place – the trash can! 

Litter in our community gets washed into storm drains when it rains and ends up in our streams. Based on local stream assessments, it’s estimated that there are over 600,000 pieces of trash in Springfield streams, more than 60% of which is plastic. Cigarette butts are also a commonly littered item with an estimated 50,000 butts in local streams. Trash affects the use and enjoyment of waterways and trails for popular recreational activities and is a source of pollution that impacts water quality, aquatic life and animals. 

Learn more from the Missouri Department of Conservation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

Mayor McClure issued a challenge to the community, imploring those who are hauling trash to make sure it is appropriately tarped and speaking directly to residents, he asked Springfieldians to properly dispose of litter and secure their individual trash cans. McClure referenced a recent City Council meeting, where a resident spoke about the "trashy" appearance Springfield is getting, particularly along major arterial roadways. "She is correct in that we need to do better. I am grateful that the City is investigating ways to best address this litter problem. And I am appreciative of the hundreds of people who participate in Clean Green Springfield." 

Eleanor Hausman, KraftHeinz HR Lead Coordinator, said being a part of Clean Green Springfield and adopting a section of stream is in line with her company values of giving back to the community. KraftHeinz employees clean up an area on Jordan Creek near Kansas Expressway and Grand Street several times a year.

“KraftHeinz has been a community partner for over 70 years in Springfield and the surrounding area. We are proud to give back to the community that has helped make us a premier employer in the Ozarks. Our talented and engaged team members are active in many area events and organizations and we challenge other area organizations and businesses to join the cause and take pride in our community.”



Registration is now open for Clean Green 2023 volunteer events and opportunities. All details and a simple registration process can be found at


Roadway & Stream Cleanups (Pick the time and date that fits your schedule!)

More than 120 sections of littered roadway and many area streams are in need of cleanup. 

Successful Adopt-A-Street, Adopt-A-Stream and Adopt-A-Highway programs in our community engage volunteers to conduct periodic cleanups of their adopted segments. Through these programs committed volunteers keep our city’s roadways and streams free from litter and debris. The City provides the trash bags, volunteers say when and where to pick them up when filled.   

Register for a one-time cleanup of any of the segments in need and a volunteer coordinator will help connect you up with a roadway or stream segment in need or you can suggest your own cleanup location. Hundreds of dedicated teams already committed to adopted areas are also encouraged to conduct a cleanup during the spring initiative.   

Adopt-A-Street includes 251 volunteer organizations adopting more than 139 miles of street. These groups collectively gather 2,000 bags of trash from city roadways per year. Adopt-A-Stream program volunteers remove 500 bags of trash on average from over 10 miles of stream per year.


Point of Pride Events

On certain Saturdays in April and May, the City will host a cleanup at a location significant to Springfield. Bring your team to lend a hand to make these locations the point of pride they are.

9 a.m. – noon | Saturday, April 15 - Kansas Expressway Cleanup (Kearney to Republic Road)
Kansas Expressway is a significant thoroughfare in our community, carrying thousands of vehicles per day in and out of Springfield. It also regularly accumulates trash and is consistently in need of a cleanup. Teams will assemble at various access points along Kansas to tackle different sections of the Expressway from Kearney Street to Republic Road.

9 a.m. – noon | Saturday, May 6: Jordan Creek at Main Avenue
Help clean up a section of Jordan Creek in Downtown Springfield. 

9 a.m. – noon | Saturday, May 20: Wilson’s Creek at Scenic Avenue
This section of Wilson’s Creek passes nearby Ewing Sports Complex and flows alongside the Wilson’s Creek Greenway Trail. Parking at Ewing Sports Complex. 

Mark this date on your calendar as a possible rain date in case rain or other inclement weather causes a Point of Pride cleanup cancellation.


Beautification Events

A number of planting, mulch spreading and general beautification events will be held throughout the month of April, including landscaping in roadway medians and in the City’s rights of way.  

Sunset Median Beautification – 8 a.m. – noon | April 1, 8, 15, 29  
The roadway medians located on Sunset Street between Fremont and National were included as a previous beautification project. Now more than 5,000 plants are ready to go in the ground along with weeding, mulch spreading and general site cleanup. This project will take multiple days of dedicated volunteer work. Sign up to help one or more weekends until it’s done! 

Cherry & Pickwick Mulch Madness – 7:30 – 10 a.m., Monday, March 20
Join the business owners and residents of Cherry and Pickwick as they spread mulch and cleanup and beautify the area.  

Route 66 Mulch Madness - 8-10 a.m., Saturday, April 1 
Help cleanup litter, spread mulch and do some replanting in two medians along an original section of Route 66 at College and Scenic. 

Airport Boulevard Beautification - 7:30 – 10:30 a.m., Saturday, April 22
Help plant 1,000 plants and spread mulch in the landscaping areas just north of the roundabout on Airport Boulevard near the Springfield-Branson National Airport. 

Neighborhood Cleanups:

The City of Springfield contracts with Community Partnership of the Ozarks to coordinate free cleanups in registered neighborhoods. Neighborhood residents can dispose of yard waste, old furniture, construction debris and much more free of charge.

In 2022, neighborhood cleanups served 1,228 households that cumulatively discarded 119 tons of bulk waste (furniture, mattresses, trash, and other large items), 35 tons of brush, and 18 tons of scrap metal. Items that cannot be accepted at the cleanups include tires, TVs, computer monitors, hazardous waste (paint, oil, varnish, or fluorescent bulbs), or any other item that poses a threat to the public. 

In 2023, thirteen of the City’s registered Neighborhood Associations are hosting Neighborhood Cleanup days throughout the Spring. Volunteers are needed to help with a variety of activities, including:

            • Bulky item pickup throughout the neighborhood 

            • Clean up alleyways and other sites identified by the neighborhood

            • Help neighbors unload items at the drop-off event


2023 Neighborhood Cleanup Schedule: 

Heart of the Westside - 8 a.m. - 3 p.m., Tuesday, March 28 at Nichols Park (1900 W. Nichols) 

Fassnight – 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., Thursday, April 6 at Fassnight Park (1300 S. Campbell Avenue) 

Weller – 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Thursday, April 13 at Turning Point Church (1722 National Avenue) 

Woodland Heights – 6 a.m. - 8 p.m., Tuesday, April 25 & Wednesday, April 26 at 304 W. Chase Street  

Rountree – 9 a.m. - 9 a.m., Tuesday, May 2 through May 3 at University Heights Baptist (1010 S. National Avenue 

Mark Twain – 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., Thursday, May 4 at Sunset Church of Christ (1222 W. Sunset Street) 

Doling & Tom Watkins – 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Wednesday, May 10 at Doling Park (301 E. Talmage Street) 

Westside Betterment – 7 a.m. - 2 p.m., Tuesday, May 16 at Hope and Anchor Church (2216 W. College Street) 

Robberson – 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 17 and Thursday, May 18 at Pathways United Methodist (1232 E. Dale) 

University Heights & Phelps Grove – 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Thursday, May 25 at National Avenue Christian Church (1515 S. National Avenue) 

 Bissett – 3 p.m. - 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 7 at LOCATION TBD.  



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Clean Green Springfield is a program of the City of Springfield and its partners: Community Partnership of the Ozarks, and KY3/KSPR/CW.  

To receive notifications about Clean Green Springfield activities, visit

For more information, contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, at 417-380-3352 or [email protected] or Kristen Milam, Communications Coordinator, at 573-819-3713 or [email protected] 


Clean Green Superstars!

A number of organizations, businesses and individuals have gone above and beyond to help cleanup and greenup Springfield through the Adopt-A-Street and Adopt-A-Stream programs. The Clean Green Springfield Committee would like to recognize the following:

Adopt-A-Stream superstar groups: 

  • The Kraft Heinz Company
  • Sierra Club
  • Greater Ozarks Audubon Society

Adopt-A-Street superstar groups: 

  • BrightOak
  • Bradford Park Neighborhood Association
  • Delta Chi
  • Delta Zeta Sorority
  • Greenway Fans
  • Just a Neighbor
  • Law Office of Christopher Marsh
  • Lambda Chi Alpha-Beta Psi
  • Mike & Lea Baxter
  • Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity MSU
  • South Ave Neighbors
  • SWI Industrial Solutions



Learn more about Clean Green Springfield.
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