Early on most Monday mornings during the summer months a group of local volunteers gathers in front of the Gettysburg Majestic Theater. They don safety vests and spread out through the borough with brooms and dustpans. The volunteers spend a few hours helping to keep the streets of Gettysburg tidy and then join together at the Lincoln Diner for coffee and community.
The volunteers, known as “From The Ground Up,” was founded in 1990 by Gettysburg College professor Sam Mudd, “Sam felt you needed to give back to the community,” said current program organizer and former borough council president Susan Naugle.” At first the program used prison volunteers but now relies on everyday citizens to step up.
Naugle said the original program continued for almost 20 years until 2009 but then stopped for a year. The difference was noticeable, Naugle said, so much so that when Destination Gettysburg tried to film a promotional film in 2010 they had to find brooms to sweep up the litter.
Naugle said she got a group of people together in 2011 to restart the program which now consists of about 20 volunteers. The focus is on the downtown area around the square as well as the Baltimore-Steinwehr Avenue business district. “We help the businesses keep things clean,” said Naugle, ”and we hope the businesses will step up too.”
“We don’t like seeing stuff going down to the Chesapeake Bay,” she said.
Naugle said the program was always looking for volunteers. “It’s a great way to get some exercise and do something for your community.”
From the Ground Up is Supported by Main Street Gettysburg.