PEORIA, Ill. — A local group is working to pick up litter and beautify their community along the Western Avenue Greenway.

On Sunday, crews focused on removing dead tress, pruning back overgrown plants, and picking up trash.

It’s a project that’s 40 years in the making.

“We call it the Western Avenue Greenway Project because it’s not really done,” said Dan Callahan, a board member for WGAP.

The green space buffers six residential blocks in the river city from busy Western Avenue.

“It’s nice to have…some breathing room here,” said Callahan.

Since the beginning, the greenway has been cared for by volunteers.

“It’s really nice to hear that somebody cares about the neighborhood like that,” said Rocky Wilson, an employee at Big Ray’s on Western who volunteered on Sunday.

Now, a board is working with local businesses to get more people involved.

Rocky Wilson works across the street from the greenway and says they’re always trying to beautify their area.

“I clean up every day. I live right across the street, and it’s a beautiful place, I just try to keep it clean,” said Wilson.

For the people who live, work, and drive by the area, the work to clean up the space is worth it.

“We want people to live here and enjoy living here as well,” said Wilson.

They say everyone should want to get involved and improve the green space.

“Nobody wants to see a bunch of trash everywhere. Help out with the environment,” said Wilson.

With big plans for future landscaping and additions, Callahan says local volunteers will continue the work for years to come.

“It’s also a community involvement project, so it’s always going to have a special place to keep it going,” said Callahan.

The board is also always looking for volunteers and groups to help clean up the area.