SHELTON — The coronavirus pandemic has canceled all Shelton Clean Sweep events this month, but residents can still be awarded for their collection efforts.

Shelton Clean Sweep is held annually in April, with groups of people forming teams to clean up streets, open spaces, wooded areas and rivers as part of a month of Earth Day celebrations.

The 13th annual Clean Sweep was to run the full week that includes Earth Day, April 22. Clean-up events would have featured popular litter collections including the Shelton Lakes Cleanup and the Housatonic River Cleanup. But state mandates in place to mitigate virus spread restrict gatherings of more than five people, meaning these events, as originally conceived, are canceled.

Teresa Gallagher, the city’s natural resources manager, said while people cannot form large teams, nothing stops people from picking up litter on an individual basis. And anyone who does participate can still get a special award.

“I have hundreds of custom iron-on patches for 2020 to hand out to anyone in Shelton who picks up litter in a public place,” said Gallagher. “It could be a park, trail, road or waterway.”

Gallagher said all people have to do is email a request for the patches to conservation@cityofshelton.org.

“The roads have less traffic, and we have people with extra time on their hands, so we’re hoping that people will take this opportunity to clean up their neighborhoods,” said Gallagher. “People should be sure to wear bright clothing if they are picking up litter along a street and protect themselves with gloves.”

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com