The City of Monmouth (OR) may be small in terms of population (about 10,000) but it’s big in terms of trees. They line virtually every street, blanket every park and since 2009, the City’s five-member Tree Advisory Board and local volunteers have planted more than 200 on public land.
To help reduce the impact of leaves on the City’s stormwater system, rivers and wetlands, the Public Works Department promotes its Residential Leaf Pickup program each October with an educational outreach program involving a brochure that Goldstreet Designs helps to produce.
Featuring a different cover photo each year, typically a child playing with leaves, the brochure combines seasonal images and colors with basic information such as leaf pickup dates. It also offers guidance on proper collection and placement of leaf piles, reminders (such as leaves only, no other yard debris) and educates the reader on the impacts of stormwater runoff and how citizens can help reduce it. “With the support of our community,” noted Russ Cooper, Monmouth Public Works Director, “we appreciate being able to continue this valuable service for our residents.”
So that it reaches every household, the brochure is bulk mailed. “As a university town, our population is transient from year to year,” Mr. Cooper noted, “so it’s important to deliver our brochure to every address.” Additionally, the brochure can be viewed online, single copies are available at the City office and City employees hand them out to landscaping crews and whenever they come across a citizen who may be in violation of the City’s leaf policies. “We stop to explain why we need their help in the program,” said Mr. Cooper. “They immediately recognize the brochure and tend to comply with little effort on our part. We enjoy interacting with our community. It’s worth the effort.”
The Public Works Department continuously monitors the program to assure its value. “We know that our outreach efforts are effective because our need for enforcement has declined year by year,” concluded Mr. Cooper.
-By Denise Rucci