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2005 - Nonprofit Organization Award - Environmental Improvement - Main Street Altus

Accepting for Main Street Altus (L to R): Barbara Burleson and Linsay Galloway

Nonprofit Organization Award (annual budget less than $100,000) for Environmental Improvement - Main Street Altus

We’ve all heard the axiom that a little litter and trash attracts even more litter and trash. When Main Street Altus noticed the city’s downtown alleys had become virtual dumpsites, it quickly brainstormed and came up with the innovative “Alley Cats” program to address the problem. 

Media notices were sent and flyers were distributed around town to ensure a good number of clean-up volunteers. Merchants around the square also were notified that a free dumpster would be provided if they had any “spring cleaning” they wanted to do. Volunteers were told they’d get a free lunch and a free t-shirt, courtesy of generous businesses. An OGE grant received through KOB’s Great American Cleanup covered most of the cost of gloves, brooms, and other supplies. 

The first Alley Cat clean up was such a success – removing over a ton of trash from the alleys – that it now has become a monthly event with free t-shirts and beverages for each volunteer. Along the way, they’ve also had fun. 

The judges called the ongoing project “wonderful” and “creative”. The example set by the Alley Cats on the prowl in downtown Altus is purrrfectly good news for Oklahoma’s alleyways.