Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mega Clean-Up Planned in Southeast Priority Board Area

Mega Clean-Up Planned in Southeast Priority Board Area

Release Date: Thursday, October 11, 2007
Contact: Paula Powers, Citizen Participation Coordinator, 333-7373

The Walnut Hills Neighborhood is spearheading a joint, three-and-a-half-mile volunteer litter clean-up effort through the heart of the Southeast Priority Board area on Saturday, October 13.

Last year Southeast Priority Board member and Walnut Hills resident Mike Schommer saw an article in the Spring 2006 issue of a City of Dayton publication, The Dayton Update, about the “Adopt an Area Program” sponsored by the Montgomery County Solid Waste District.

At that time he organized volunteers to take advantage of the program, which supplies free trash bags, gloves, safety vests, and litter grabbers for volunteers willing to adopt an area to clean up. Identifying Wyoming Street from Hyland Park to the intersection of Wayne Avenue as their adopted area, the volunteers picked up and hauled away 1,400 pounds of litter in May of 2006, 400 pounds in October of 2006, and 800 pounds in May of this year.

The initiative has gathered momentum and the cleanup scheduled for Saturday October 13 will include four Southeast neighborhoods, additional streets, many more volunteers, donations from local businesses, and will encompass a total of 3.5 miles of roadway.

The Fairgrounds, Linden Heights, and Twin Towers neighborhoods are joining Walnut Hills. The clean-up area will cover the entire stretch of Wyoming Street from Main Street to its terminus near Cleveland School on Purcell Avenue.

The Twin Towers Action Coalition, under the leadership of Barbara Bauer, another Southeast Priority Board member, was in the process of organizing a separate collaborative clean-up effort with volunteers from the Twin Towers Community Council, Twin Towers Block Leaders, East End Community Services Corporation, East End Community Church and support from Wayne Avenue Twin Towers Business Association and Dabel Eagles #3031. They planned to clean up Xenia Avenue from Steve Whalen Drive to Keowee Street. Schommer offered to expand the use of his pickup truck to collect the litter gathered by the Twin Towers neighborhood under the voucher issued by the County, which allows him to dump the refuse without a fee. This removes the trash from the neighborhoods the same day of the clean-up, instead of waiting for a scheduled weekday pick-up.

Approximately 30 volunteers from Walnut Hills, Linden Heights and Fairgrounds will gather at Hyland Park at 11:00 a.m. to start their clean-up and will celebrate afterwards at the Pizza Factory, 1101 Wayne Avenue, which is donating pizza for their hard work. The Twin Towers neighborhood will begin its clean-up effort at East End Community Services, located at 624 Xenia Avenue at 9:00 a.m. Organizers will reward the approximately 75 volunteers afterwards with a cookout in the lot across the street.

“Without the City of Dayton, I wouldn’t have known about the County’s Program,” Schommer said. “Montgomery County is supplying the necessary materials. Without the Priority Board, I wouldn’t have known who the neighborhood contacts were in order to organize this thing. We need to send a strong message from Dayton to outlying communities that we have pride in our neighborhoods. So many people have no idea of all the great stuff that goes on in Dayton neighborhoods all the time. We’re taking positive action because we just aren’t going to tolerate attitudes of those who feel our city streets can be used as trash cans.”

Volunteer interested in helping with the clean-up efforts may call Mike Schommer at 256-2516.

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