Ward 4 cleanup set for first Saturday in November; cash incentives available

Otto the Otter to appear in Christmas parade

Keep El Dorado Beautiful is planning its final community cleanup of the year on Nov. 4 and the group is inviting volunteer teams to fill several slots that are available for cash incentives.

The Ward 4 community cleanup will begin at 9 a.m. Volunteers will meet at Old City Park on College Avenue to receive their assignments and supplies before fanning out into the ward to pick up litter.

The cleanup will be the last in a series of ward cleanups which KEB has worked with El Dorado City Council members to host in each of the city's four wards this year.

Cleanups were held in wards 1 and 3 in the spring before KEB went on hiatus for the summer. The group agreed to resume the cleanups when outdoor temperatures cooled in the fall.

A cash incentive of $300 each is offered to volunteer teams with 10 or more members.

Pop-up cleanups with cash incentives have also been hosted by KEB upon request this year.

Though youth groups are prioritized for the cash-incentive program, the public, particularly residents within the respective wards, is encouraged to participate.

A community cleanup that was held Oct. 14 in Ward 2 reportedly drew 90 participants.

"It was great. We had a very good turnout. It went well and we were very pleased with the participation," said Janis Van Hook, president of KEB.

Typically, 10 slots are available for the cash-incentive program but for the Ward 4 cleanup, Van Hook said there are 16 slots open, noting that some of the available openings are holdovers from cancellations during cleanups that were held earlier in the year.

So far, six volunteer teams have signed up for the Ward 4 cleanup and 10 slots are available.

To qualify for the cash incentives, each team must have at least 10 members who complete the cleanup.

Van Hook said volunteers will return to Old City Park at 11:30 a.m. for cash awards and sack lunches on Nov. 4.

KEB is also preparing for the holiday season with a visit from Otto the Otter, the mascot for the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission.

Otto is expected to appear in the El Dorado Christmas Parade on Dec. 7.

KEB members previously discussed scheduling visits for Otto at local elementary schools during the day.

"We have not come to a solid conclusion on that," said Van Hook.

The group is planning a Christmas party as a thank-you for those who supported KEB this year.

Efforts are ongoing to refresh KEB's crosswalk mural at the intersection of Main Street and Washington Avenue.

The mural was painted in October of 2022 as part of a downtown art project that was facilitated by Main Street El Dorado.

KEB members have said the mural was blighted by tire marks the day after it was painted and the artwork has since faded.

The group is working with Mike Means, art project manager, to spruce up the mural, which is located on the north side of the intersection in front of PJ's Coffee.

Means headed up a group of local artists who painted the KEB crosswalk mural and others on the downtown square.

Van Hook noted that the KEB mural was painted during Airstreams on the Square in 2022.

Airstreams is an annual urban camping event presented by MSE and the Arkansas Razorback Airstream Club as part of a nationwide campaign to promote the RV lifestyle and economic vitality in small-town America.

The event is held each October and draws RVers from several states who camp out around the Union County Courthouse and other areas in the downtown perimeter for several days.

The eighth annual Airstreams on the Square was held Oct. 19 - 22.

Upcoming Events