Make Ottumwa Shine

Company’s Coming!
We will hold a mini clean up on Monday, October 19 to spruce up the river bank between the Market Street Bridge and the Wabash Bridge.  Anyone wanting to lend a hand is asked to meet at Bridge View Center at 10 AM on Monday. The clean up should take about two hours to complete.  This effort to spruce up the river front is in preparation for the Iowa Tourism Conference to be held at Bridge View Center.  This event will bring hundreds of travel and visitor industry professionals to Ottumwa.

FALL CLEAN UP – September 21-28
We held a Fall clean up week in September spruce up before Oktoberfest.   Thanks to the volunteer grime-fighters who joined in.    A special shout out goes to Ottumwa’s Girl Scout Troops who tackled trash that had collected along our trails. They gathered 24 bags of trash!   Thanks for your time and energy to help Make Ottumwa Shine.

For 2015, the Ottumwa City Council approved two changes to Ottumwa’s City Code relating to public nuisances.   The first is amending the maximum allowable height for grass from 12 inches to 10 inches.   The second would prohibit regular parking in the front yard and add construction requirements for new residential driveways.   We believe that these changes will help improve the appearance of neighborhoods across the city.

Our famous Purple trash bags are available at the Recycling Center and City Hall year round if you feel need to clean up someplace in town.   We supply purple trash bags and gloves – families, organizations, neighborhood groups and businesses all pitch in to SHINE UP an area.  When the purple bags are filled, call 641-683-0685 and the bags will be collected.

Keeping the business districts in Ottumwa clean is vital to Making Ottumwa Shine. These areas of our community are the most visited by Ottumwans, and our out of town guests.   We are asking property owners to help all year by picking up cigarette butts and other small trash, pulling weeds from sidewalks and green spaces, and keeping sidewalks and curbs swept and clear of debris.    See our call to action flyer.

Make Ottumwa Shine Week was held April 26 to May 2.   Volunteers from around the community rolled up their sleeves, adopted clean up sites and pitched in to make Ottumwa a cleaner place.   Thanks to all the volunteers who helped make the Make Ottumwa Shine Clean Up Week a success.   Over 60 volunteers adopted 25 areas around the city and made them shine!

Together these folks we have made Ottumwa a cleaner place –  Amy & Connie Hazelwood ~ Bob Taylor ~ Vickie from Burger King ~ Dave Cecil ~ Jennifer Findley ~ John & Sylvia Hunolt ~ Juanita Zavala ~ Matt & Melanie Dalbey ~ Noon Lions ~ Michael Schafer ~ Mike Gullett ~ Nancy Emanuel ~ The Bishop Family ~ The Frisbie Family ~ The Hanson Family ~ The Stokes Family ~ Davis Street Christian Church Youth Group ~ AARP ~ Al Exito Latino Mentoring Program ~ Albia Road Baptist Church ~ Douma School Students ~ First Resources ~ Girl Scout Troops 912/1038 ~ Gooden Family Chiropractic Clinic ~ Hampton Inn Employees ~ Horace Mann 5th Grade ~ IHCC ~ John Deere Employees ~ Lighthouse Plaza ~ McCune and Reed ~ ORHC Admin, HR and Marketing ~ QSI ~ Schumacher Elevator ~ SIEDA Community Action Group ~ South Ottumwa Savings Bank ~ TPA ~ Trinity Lutheran Church ~ Job Corps.





Shine On!

Make Ottumwa Shine is a volunteer driven community clean up program. Our mission is to empower Ottumwans to make our community clean and attractive.

We fight litter and urban blight one purple trash bag at a time. Many of our volunteers make fighting litter a year-round activity in their own neighborhood.

If you have an area you want to adopt - a street, park, trail, or stream, call us at
We can help with materials and resources.