JONESBORO — Recycling education and “pop-up cleanups” are the initial projects of the new Jonesboro Beautification Commission.

The commission, created by Mayor Harold Perrin in March, was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic in its early stages but is ready to proceed with a lengthy list of plans to make Jonesboro “clean, green and beautiful” by instilling and maintaining programs for all our neighborhoods, according to its charter.

“What we hope to do is change attitudes about litter,” Beautification Commission Chairwoman Beverly Parker said. “We want to get more people to recycle appropriately, to learn what goes to the landfill, and to understand why all this is important to our community.”

Beautification commission members will participate in October neighborhood cleanups, in which North Fisher Street and Scenic Hills communities will partner with city sanitation and other departments to get rid of the trash, donate the usable and recycle the recyclables that residents want to get out of their homes.

“For too long I’ve seen trash around our city and received complaints about areas that are displeasing to the eye,” Perrin said. “We have many beautiful places in Jonesboro, but we also have places that need work. Some need a lot of work.

“But thanks to all the volunteers, in all the neighborhoods but especially those who have sought a spot on the beautification commission, I am optimistic that change is coming.”

The Jonesboro Beautification Commission asks residents to do two things in October. The first is “Pick Up Where you Are.”

“Each of us can do something to help control litter,” Parker said. “For instance, if litter spills out on the street on trash day, pick it up. Or help elderly neighbors keep their street-front clean. Don’t blow clippings or leaves into the street.”

The commission asks groups of residents to perform a “Pop-up Cleanup,” in which neighborhood groups can gather informally and pick up litter.

“The target could be to improve neighborhood streets, a park or a connecting street that has a lot of litter,” she said. “Some small actions from individuals and groups can have a big impact.”

Parker said education is a vital part of the beautification campaign.

“Much of what we will start with is education,” she said. “We would also like to capture opportunities for individuals and neighborhoods to think about what they can do to improve their surroundings.

“We are not specifically a group that will go out and clean up litter. We have to build capacity to stop litter.”

Part of that education is knowing that “the presence of litter is a strong predictor of more littering,” Parker said. “That’s why regular clean-up activities by neighborhood groups is so vital.”