HoWL helps clean up Homer

HoWL would like to shout out a heartfelt thanks to all its supporters of the DiRtBaG Cleanup Week this year. HoWL had more than 71 participants pick up 346 bags of trash, 141 bags of recyclables and 69 tires from 16.6 miles of Homer roads, beaches and trails. We raised more than $10,000 for local students’ HoWL scholarships, ensuring that any kid from this community who wants to participate in HoWL gets a chance to do so.
Thank you to the 39 local businesses who supported us and made this possible, as well as to the hundreds of individuals who pledged to our DiRtBaGs and encouraged them to clean up this town. We would particularly like to thank Wells Fargo, Bulletproof Nets, Halibut Cove Live, and the Homer Veterinary Clinic as the main underwriters of this event.
HoWL won the Homer Chamber of Commerce’s Cleanup Day Competition this year. In fact, HoWL won first, second and third place in the group category, after subtracting our top six individual’s bags so they could win the individual competitions. HoWLers also took home big prizes donated to HoWL, like GoPro video cameras, Ipods, backpacks and more. There were lots of rewards for picking up litter and raising money with HoWL this year, thanks to all our sponsors, and perhaps that is why our mountain of trash was so tall and our scholarship fund so deep.
Next year, HoWL hopes to expand this program even further, by encouraging more participation from the community of Homer at large.
In 2014, HoWL will not compete in the group category of Cleanup Day. Instead, we encourage all other groups in this town to participate at our side. We will abolish our Clean-Up Competition award system and instead offer a tiered incentive program, whereby everyone who participates in Cleanup Week with HoWL will be eligible for prizes. Participants simply set a goal for themselves and achieve that goal by picking up litter; the more litter kids pick up, the more prizes they’ll get. That way HoWL will encourage goal-setting and personal achievement, rather than competition.
It is our hope that with these two changes to how HoWL runs Cleanup Week, we will encourage more participation community-wide and continue to pick up the mountains of litter that we do every year.
Again, I would like to thank all our supporters from this year. You are the sparks that ignited the DiRtBaGs into working so hard. So, thank you all.