The brothers of the Iota Nu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity completed their community clean up in Edgewood on May 10, including a park, lake shore and more than three miles of local highway.
In partnership with the Harford County Department of Parks and Recreation's Community Park Beautification Program, the Department of Public Works, and the Maryland State Highway Administration's Adopt-A-Highway Program, the area beautification work is conducted quarterly as part of the chapter's mission to keep local neighborhoods safe and clean for residents to enjoy, explained the chapter's Satchell Doyle Jr.
This is the fourth year in a row that members of Iota Nu have taken to local parks and highways as part of the clean-up initiative.
"Our small staff in Harford County Parks and Recreation would never be able to manage our trash issues without help, so we rely on volunteer assistance," said Shanna Jay, a recreation specialist with the department.
"Most volunteers see for the first time the harm caused by trash in their local waterways and parks," she continued. "They are transformed by a great sense of accomplishment after piling up their bags of trash. The hope is that this new sense of awareness spills over to future choices, creating potential long term effects as well."
Jay praised the chapter for its support, noting that "millions of tons of trash end up in our nation's waterways and park lands every year from litter on the ground and illegal dump sites. Trash is more than just an eyesore; it can contaminate drinking water and threaten the lives of all who depend on it."
Upon completion of the most recent day of service, the chapter members reflected on the group's commitment to uplift the community and the individual role that each of them plays in that endeavor, Doyle said.
The Iota Nu Chapter's members are college-educated men from Harford and Cecil counties in a variety of civilian and military careers. In addition to the clean-up program, the chapter sponsors a number of ongoing community initiatives, including tutoring programs, honoring local veterans, voter registration events, supporting Habitat for Humanity builds and an annual book donation to the libraries in Harford and Cecil counties.