(December 4, 2013)

No one wants to live in a dirty city and at least one group is working to make sure that holds true for Havre de Grace residents.

The Citizens Against Trash (CAT) Club is teaming up with students from Meadowvale Elementary School to pick up trash and litter at Tydings Park on Saturday.

Al Peteraf, a member of the club, said they are expecting at least a half dozen students who are members of the school's Patriots Club, a civic group for boys and girls who volunteer around the city.

The group will meet at the park pavilion at 9 a.m. and all Havre de Grace residents are encouraged to come and join in, Peteraf said.

"We'll be cleaning the park and the parking lot," Peteraf said. "You'd be surprised how many cigarette butts we find in the park, especially in the summertime, and they blow right into the river. We prevent a lot of [Chesapeake] Bay pollution."

Peteraf said CAT Club, which formed a year ago, meets every Saturday and cleans up portions of downtown Havre de Grace, local parks and other areas of the city.

In the club's second year, Peteraf said members are pushing individuals, groups and communities to adopt a block they can commit to keeping clean. He said this initiative sparked their Tydings Park clean-up with Meadowvale students.

"If we can get enough citizens to say 'we will take care of our block,' then the whole town will be clean all the time," Peteraf said.

Peteraf, 50, who purchased his first home in Havre de Grace nearly six years ago, said the mission of the CAT Club is to keep the city's streets clean.

The grassroots club meets every Saturday morning at the coffee shop in Rochambeau Plaza around 8:30 a.m. CAT Club volunteers spend a few minutes cleaning up downtown Havre de Grace and then move to other areas of the city, Peteraf said.

"It's been a slow, but steady progress," Peteraf said. "We are hoping people realize it's a fun social club with adults of all stripes coming together to keep Havre de Grace clean."