Greenpoint Gazette

New McCarren Program Makes Cleaning Part of Cardio


Greenpoint resident Sam Combs has a plan to help residents fit and healthy and do the same for their parks as well.

Combs, who has lived in the neighborhood for seven years, launched Good Clean Fun in McCarren Park, just two weeks ago, to encourage people working out in the park to collect trash they see during their workout routine and deposit it in the closest trash receptacle.

The idea to create the program started when Combs, who works out regularly in McCarren, began noticing, particularly on the weekends, that areas like the track were littered with garbage despite the fact that there are several bins located throughout the park.

Two weekends ago, he made a trip to the park on a Saturday morning and approached people as they worked out to see if they would be willing to pitch-in. He then handed out reusable work gloves to those who agreed to participate.

People were extremely receptive and enthusiastic and over the course of the next three hours he had about 30 people volunteers helping to clean up the park.

“The way I pitch it to people is to do as little as possible,” said Combs. “Even thirty minutes helps in a big way. The response has been so positive, and this is also just a great way to get the community involved and encourage interaction person to person. I’ve made so many great connections just in the couple of weeks I’ve been doing this.”

The weekend before the Fourth of July, Combs had approached an exercise group beforehand to pitch in during the weekend, and that added to the number of people helping out with the clean up.

He’s now in the process of creating a Facebook page for the program and upping his outreach to local businesses. In the future, he hopes to work with the Parks Department and local elected officials to perhaps get funding for the program.

But for now he’s focused on creating a strong sense of community around staying fit and helping clean up the neighborhood at the same time.

The next God Clean Fun will take place Saturday, July 11, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at McCarren Park

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