Neat Neighborhoods competition new in 2024

After thousands of volunteer hours logged and tons of litter and trash collected since 2021, the Clean Green Springfield community cleanup initiative is back in 2024 with new opportunities and fresh challenges. Registration for a fresh series of city-wide activities planned in April and May is now open at through May 31.

Activities are planned during the months of April and May. Individuals, families, businesses, neighborhoods and service organizations are invited to roll up their sleeves and participate in one or more opportunities including: roadside trash pickups, stream cleanups, neighborhood cleanup dropoff events and more. The City will provide trash bags and supplies as well as pick up full trash bags when activities are complete.

Learn more about Clean Green Springfield initiative and get registered for volunteer opportunities at

New Neat Neighborhoods Competition

A new component of Clean Green Springfield will launch this spring called Neat Neighborhoods, patterned after the Tidy Towns tradition rooted in Ireland since 1958. This community challenge has now found its way to Springfield, thanks to the Hatch Foundation, marking the start of an exciting competition aimed towards a cleaner, greener, and more happy city.

Erin Danastasio, executive director of the Hatch Foundation, noticed an unusually neat and clean environment in the towns and villages she visited during a recent trip to Ireland. "I asked the locals, how do you keep your town so clean? Without hesitation, most mentioned "Tidy Towns", she said. Intrigued because of the Hatch Foundation's ongoing support of Clean Green Springfield and other community improvement initiatives, Danastasio started researching the storied tradition. She shared what she learned with Cora Scott, the City of Springfield's Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, who was excited to make it available in Springfield.

In Springfield, the competition will be organized across our four City Zones: Zone 1, Zone 2, Zone 3, and Zone 4. Registered neighborhoods within each City Zone will compete against one another, fostering a sense of friendly competition and camaraderie. The competition will award one neighborhood in each Zone as a winner of Neat Neighborhood with a total of four winning neighborhoods each year. This hands-on approach not only gets the community involved but also lets us take a personalized look at the special projects each neighborhood is diving into. That Hatch Foundation is donating $10,000 to each of the four winning neighborhoods. First place winning neighborhoods in each zone will win $6,000, with second place winning $3,000 and third place winning $1,000.

"As we dive into the new Neat Neighborhoods competition, the spirit of Clean Green Springfield, born from collaboration and a shared commitment to positive change, becomes a key player in our quest for a tidy town," said Becky Volz, President of the Neigborhood Advisory council. "It's not just about tidying up; it's about leaving a lasting impression and being proud of your neighborhood."

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The Neat Neighborhoods competition is divided into five categories, each contributing to a total possible score, with the score being a reflection of the collective efforts and achievements of participating neighborhoods. The categories cover a broad spectrum including: community planning, public spaces, green spaces, streets, tidiness, and more.

Since some neighborhoods are located in two Council Zones, the Neat Neighborhoods committee created a list that placed each neighborhood into the competition zone that Volz and others felt most appropriate for sake of even distribution of the neighborhoods.

To learn more about Neat Neighborhoods, join a neighborhood team or start a team, visit


Registration is now open for Clean Green 2024 volunteer events and opportunities. All details and a simple registration process can be found at

More than 150 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 commit to doing one street or stream cleanup on your own schedule. 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.

The City will host cleanups at locations significant to Springfield. Bring your team to lend a hand to make these locations the point of pride they are.

2 – 4 p.m. | Sunday, April 7 – Kansas Expressway Cleanup at Grand Street
Help clean up a section of Kansas Expressway where it meets Jordan Creek near Grand Street. This portion of Kansas Expressway is consistently in need of love due to the amount of traffic and the flow of stormwater sweeping trash along the roadway and creek. Meet at the Jordan Valley Health clinic parking lot.

POTENTIAL FOR MORE Pop-up Point of Pride events!
More Point of Pride events may be added as volunteer coordinators gauge interest from the community. Check for new event announcements.

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 2023, neighborhood cleanups served 1,570 households that cumulatively discarded 222 tons of bulk waste (furniture, mattresses, trash, and other large items), 37 tons of brush, and 17 tons of scrap metal. Items that cannot be accepted at cleanups include tires, hazardous waste (paint, oil, varnish, or fluorescent bulbs), or any other item that poses a threat to the public. This year, on site computer and tv recycling will be offered at all Spring 2024 cleanups.

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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

Spring 2024 Neighborhood Cleanup Dropoff Event Schedule:

Woodland Heights | Robberson
– 8 a.m. – noon, Saturday, March 30 at the Railroad Parking lot at 304 W. Chase St.

Bradford Park | Meador Park | Seminole-Holland – 8 a.m. – noon, Saturday, April 6 at Meador Park (2600 S. Fremont Ave.)

Heart of the West Side | Westside | West Central – 8 a.m. – noon, Saturday, April 13 at Nichols Park (1900 W. Nichols St.)

Doling | Tom Watkins | Bissett – 8 a.m. – noon, Saturday, April 27 at the Railroad Parking lot at 304 W. Chase St.

Fassnight | Mark Twain | Parkcrest – 8 a.m. – noon, Saturday, May 4 at Sunset Church of Christ (1222 W. Sunset St.)

University Heights | Phelps | Rountree | Delaware – 8 a.m. – noon, Saturday, May 18 at the Missouri State University Parking Lot 22 (Grand St. & Kings Avenue)

Sign up to help one of the City's registered neighborhoods as they dive into a number of special projects in this friendly competition to win the title of Neat Neighborhood! The competition will be organized across our four City Zones with winning neighborhoods in each zone to be awarded prize money to help support their organization. Learn more and sign up at

Difficult to dispose of items like household bulky items, tires and mattresses often burden residents and end up dumped along roads, alleyways and streams. To help combat this, Clean Green Springfield will host two "Drop-off Depot" disposal events 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturdays, April 20 and May 4 at 404 N. Jefferson Avenue in downtown Springfield. The following items will be accepted at no cost to residents:

General Trash and Bulky Items
The City will accept residential household trash from garage and shed cleanups, furniture and other bulky items for disposal. Items NOT accepted include: Yardwaste or limbs, hazardous waste (fluorescent bulbs, paint, oil, varnish, etc.), TVs or computers, appliances with refrigerants, and construction and demolition waste.

Bulky mattresses are hard to dispose of and are also problematic for landfills as they take up a lot of space and do not compact well. Help keep these out of the landfill and recycle them! Mattresses and box springs accepted. Limit 4 pieces per residential household. Items must be clean and free of infestation.


Recycling tires can help harmful chemicals stay out of the earth, water, and air. It can prevent tires from becoming disease-carrying-pest breeding grounds and can keep them from starting fires. Limit 8 tires per residential household. Tires must be detached from rims.

Dropoff is free for Springfield residents. All items must be transported to the event with no home pickup option available. No commercial waste accepted. No trailers will be allowed. No construction and demolition waste.

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

Learn more about Clean Green Springfield activities and register, 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].

Filed Under: Government, City

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