Two Columbia Heights community groups are hosting highway cleanup events in October, which residents are encouraged to take part in.

The first event, hosted by the Columbia Heights Lions Club, is slated for Saturday, Oct. 9. Volunteers are asked to meet at 8:30 a.m. at Murzyn Hall, 530 Mill St. NE, Columbia Heights. The cleanup event covers University Avenue NE (Highway 47).

Along with the cleanup event, a paper shredding truck and dumpster will be stationed in the Murzyn Hall parking lot for public use from 9 a.m. to noon.

From 10 a.m. to noon, the Columbia Heights Lions Club will also have a personal hygiene drive to benefit the Southern Anoka Community Assistance (SACA) Food Shelf and Thrift Store.

For volunteers interested in the Columbia Heights Lions Club cleanup, contact Nick Novitsky at 612-760-4463. Learn more about the event at

The second event, hosted by HeightsNEXT, takes place Saturday, Oct. 16. Volunteers are asked to meet at 9 a.m. at the Columbia Heights Public Library, 3939 Central Ave. NE, Columbia Heights. The HeightsNEXT cleanup covers Central Avenue NE (Highway 65).

Bags and safety vests will be provided to aid in picking up litter. Volunteers should bring their own gloves and dress appropriately for trash cleanup. This event will be socially distanced, with each group of volunteers dispersing to clean their own section of Central Avenue or a nearby park. Use of face masks is being encouraged.  

After volunteers complete their cleanup, they are invited to meet back at the Columbia Heights Public Library to return vests and celebrate the group’s efforts. The cleanup will occur “rain or shine,” so participants should dress for the weather. Refreshments for volunteers provided in partnership with Heights Bakery.

For volunteers interested in the HeightsNEXT cleanup, contact Rachel James at or show up on the day of the cleanup. To learn more about the event, visit or


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