SHFNA readies rakes for annual Falls clean-up

by Town Reminder

SHFNA readies rakes for annual Falls clean-up
By Kristin Will

SOUTH HADLEY – Spring isn’t the only season for cleaning.
Next weekend, the South Hadley Falls Neighborhood Association will hit the streets with trash bags and rakes in hand.
‘Tis the season for its annual clean-up day.
“We have a fantastic DPW in South Hadley, who do a great job with the Beachgrounds and other public spaces in our neighborhood,” said SHFNA Chair Gillian Woldorf. “We feel it’s important for us as a neighborhood association to pitch in and help take care of our physical environment.”
From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, Falls residents, SHFNA members and a crew from the South Hadley DPW will spread out in groups throughout the Falls.
They’ll rake leaves, pick up brush and collect litter to later throw away. Areas in which crews will concentrate are the parking lot across from the Egg & I, School Lane, sidewalks along Main Street, and the corner of Lamb Street at Gaylord.
“Jim Reidy and some of the DPW crew will be helping out again this year, and we are grateful for their help,” said Woldorf. The SHFNA will contact Holyoke Gas & Electric, owners of the parking lot across from Egg & I, to see if they will send a group of volunteers to help clean that area.
The physical character of South Hadley Falls, said Woldorf, “is such a major part of our heritage.” SHFNA members feel a responsibility toward keeping the area in which they live clean.
“That being said, we are hoping to draw volunteers from all parts of town, not just from the Falls,” Woldorf said. “There will be jobs for all ages, including litter pick-up, raking, and brush pick-up.”
The annual Falls clean-up provides an opportunity to be active and interact with neighbors from South Hadley Falls. It also allows a way for residents who lives outside of the Falls to become better acquainted with the area.
“We’ve had a lot of fun with the clean-up in years past,” Woldorf said.
The results are positive. By offering an opportunity to physically improve an area, volunteers acquire a sense of ownership. With leaves especially, the clean-up’s impact is immediate.
“I’ve been so proud to walk around the neighborhood afterward and to see the difference that we’ve made,” said Woldorf.
Although this clean-up is meant for public spaces, Woldorf said residents looking for help with yard work can contact the SHFNA to receive a copy of contacts on its Good Neighbor Project list.
The initiative, which is a year-round effort, aims to ease the burden on residents unable to perform tasks like yard work or shoveling. The SHFNA maintains a contact list of willing residents able to help. Residents who need work are given a copy of that contact list from which they can get in touch with a volunteer.
The Good Neighbor Project also needs volunteers.
To sign up to be a part of the Good Neighbor Project as a volunteer, or to help out on Oct. 31, email the SHFNA at
Residents looking for assistance from the Good Neighbor Project should email or call 437-0405 to receive the contact list.
Following the Saturday clean-up, the SHFNA is co-hosting a Rag Shag Parade with the South Hadley Lions Club at 2:45 p.m.
Children ages 3 to 10 should come in costume as the parade steps off from the public library parking lot and proceeds down Main Street to the Beachgrounds.
Prizes will be awarded for the most original, scariest and best costumes. The parade will end at the Beachgrounds at 3:45 p.m.
“It’s especially meaningful for me, personally, that we’re doing these two events on the same day,” said Woldorf. “We will be cleaning up our public spaces in the morning, and then inviting families to our neighborhood in the afternoon for what will hopefully be a new tradition.”