Part of the group organized by Amanda Stark that cleaned up different areas of the city on April 6. Photo by Marty Lewis, Establish Media.

It started with one Facebook post that went viral in March, and now the results are being seen throughout St. Thomas.

One of the areas in town that was cleaned during the first #TrashTag Challenge. Photo by Leticia Mizon.

On April 6, a group of volunteers, including Mayor Joe Preston, got together at Balaclava Street School to pick up all the trash in the area that had accumulated over the winter. The event was in response to the viral #TrashTag Challenge that hit social media in March and has led to tons of earth-friendly efforts.

Community member Amanda Stark was the organizer of this first #TrashTag Challenge, and her event led to many others taking up the challenge in St. Thomas. One is led by Lisa Drewitt, who is planning a cleanup from South Edgeware Road to Canadian Tire on April 18, which will be supplied with garbage bags and gloves from the City.

Before and after of the field between Princess Ave and White Street that was cleaned up on Saturday, April 6.

A second, more extensive #TrashTag event is planned for this Sunday, April 14. Volunteers will meet at the CASO Station and divide into groups to tackle the area around Arthur Voaden Secondary School, Central Community Health Care, and more. Progress is documented by before and after photos with the hashtag #trashtagchallenge.

The community cleanup efforts have been highly praised by Mayor Preston, who wants to congratulate “all who try to make St. Thomas more beautiful.” He says that “pride in our city is very important for me as Mayor. I hope to continue to raise that bar among all residents of St. Thomas. If we do, the city is already a cleaner and friendlier place to live or visit.” An Earth Week Community Cleanup is being planned by the City the week of April 22-27.

Inspired by how St. Thomas residents are coming together to make our city a better place to live, we accepted the #TrashTag Challenge ourselves.

The Establish crew taking the #TrashTag Challenge on Saturday, April 6. Selfie by Grayden Laing.

If you or anyone you know is taking the challenge, be sure to let us know!