Be the change: Grannies Gone Green work to make Springfield the cleanest little town around

With trash bags in hand, Grannies Gone Green are cleaning up Springfield. These grandmothers have a vision to change the world in a way that starts in their own backyard and they hope to excite the same sense of need to act from those who hear of their work. 

Miracle Mile Hill is a beautiful nature area that deer roam on, says Mary Katherine Somers. "It has become littered and deer now walk on trash, heartbreaking. So I try to keep it litter-free. The bag I am re-using is from a local farmer’s feed, a greTheir work started with Mary Katherine Somers, a Vocal Coach and Springfield native. Aside from a dazzling past working in New York with Andrew Lloyd Weber, particularly on his hit Starlight Express, a period or her life she describes as a joy, she has also picked up the habit of spending hours at a time picking up trash in her community. “People in my neighborhood know me as the trash lady! I’ve been picking up trash for years because I was tired of seeing it.” 

Somers explains further, “...what a terrible example for our kids. Springfield’s a lovely place, with a lot of nature and a lot of beauty. People should want to live and grow up here.” She believes that in today’s world, simply picking up trash is an act of reverence for yourself, for your community, and for others around you. 

Somers started by working her network of friends and clientele from her voice lessons. She eventually built a team of like-minded ladies who just so happened to be grandmothers. “We are the help we are looking for. Why can't we be the cleanest little town around? Maybe we could inspire other towns to start their own Earth Angels.” This is the title they’ve given their Facebook Group. 

Diane Hamilton, Cynthia Ambroseno, Mary Katherine Somers, Cindy Crumley are Grannies Gone Green, working to clean the community and inspire others to do likewise.Earth Angels of Clark County was developed by the Grannies and is an online forum to discuss and exchange information about goings-on in the region pertaining to all things green with the intention of promoting living sustainably. 

“All roads lead to Earth Angels,” says Somers, “...look at all the problems in the world, and the issues with the environment. How can someone care about what’s happening across the oceans, but not even care about their own backyard? Start with what’s right here in front of you!” 

The plan is for the Earth Angels of Clark County Facebook page to be a platform that will grow into a self-sustaining network for people to post their own events, exchange resources, or even ask questions such as where to recycle in town, or how to start your own compost pile. 

“People tell us there has to be a board of directors or that we must host consistent meetings … this simply isn’t true, you just need a trash bag!” Somers says. She says she believes that people are too busy too often, and tend to complicate things. “It’s simple; 20 people can clean up a block in no time! You can share a project, where you’re going to be, and when, and recruit extra hands. It’s simple.” 

Earth Angels of Clark County is also a way for people to communicate the little ways they’ve found to live in an Earth-conscious state of mind. 

Brenda Goff and Mary Katherine Somers work together in Grannys Gone Green. Why is it important to them? Somers wants people to consider that the United Nations website states that the international treaty on climate change, known as the Paris Agreement, was accepted by 196 parties, including the United States. All of whom hope to limit the increase of the global temperature by 1.5 degrees Celsius. However, at the rate at which the world is producing harmful chemicals such as methane, nitrous oxide, or chlorofluorocarbons, the Earth is projected to warm up by 2 to 4 degrees Celsius on a global scale within the century. This can be detrimental to all known ecosystems and human longevity. 

Somers says she believes that there are little ecological ways of being that people can weave into their everyday lives which might inspire those around them and “...become something deeper than cleaning up the Earth – but become a state of mind.” 

To that end, Grannies Gone Green is planning to celebrate Earth Day 2024 by cleaning up the lot next to the Hobby Lobby and Walmart on North Bechtle Square. They encourage others to join them at around 1:30 pm. Sunday, April 21.

For future gatherings, they have many spaces in mind to polish up as they work to bring a sense of pride to the community. 

“Earth Angels is not about complaining about it, it’s about making actionable suggestions,” says Somers. If you want to beautify your area, learn simple ways to live sustainably, or even get active and join Grannies Gone Green, anyone can reach out to the group and a community of like-minded locals @EarthAngelsOfClarkCounty on Facebook, Or by following this link.
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Read more articles by Wil Hoffman.

Wil Hoffman is a Springfield Native and recent graduate of Ohio University. Having achieved a degree in Communication Studies with a concentration in the Performing Arts, it wasn’t until a screenwriting class that he became aware of his interest in writing. Upon his return hewas eager to get involved in the community that Springfield has to offer, and found the Springfield Hub to be a great opportunity to do just that while sharpening his typographic abilities. In his spare time he enjoys golf and exploring the nature trails of the area when it's warm enough, and enjoying the numerous live music acts from the region when it's cooler.