Spring cleaning: Tidying Calumet

CALUMET – The village of Calumet clean-up day has taken place for six years now, and it seems to be getting more popular as a weekend activity, according to Leah Polzien.

Polzien, who is on the design committee of clean-up sponsor Main Street Calumet, said for the first four years of the event about 12 people showed up each year, but Saturday and in 2013, about 50 people showed up each time.

Besides Agassiz Park, Polzien said teams of people were picking up trash on Fourth, Fifth and Sixth streets and the alleys between them.

Although the temperature was a little cool, it was sunny, which Polzien said probably helped bring people out to help.

“We actually postponed it from (May 10) because there was so much snow,” she said.

One of the people taking part in the clean-up was Dean Kangas, who said he recently moved to Calumet from Madison, Wisconsin, to take a job as an insurance agent. The clean-up was a good way to get involved locally, and he would like to do more.

“We would like to organize a few things in the community,” he said.

Kangas said he and his family picked up trash on five blocks downtown, and they were finding mostly small things.

“It all adds up,” he said.

Also cleaning up was Shelly Hahn, who was taking part for the fourth year.

During the hour and half she had been picking up trash, Hahn said she and the group she was with were finding a wide variety of things, including Christmas decorations and Christmas trees, but she didn’t think people were intentionally throwing trash into the streets.

“I think a lot of it comes from knocked over trash cans,” she said.

Hahn said she was also finding many empty small plastic liquor bottles.

Polzien said it’s expected the clean-up of Calumet will taken place again next year.

“We hope to see it grow every year,” she said.