What do a tire, wine bottles, candy wrappers, and discarded cigarettes have in common?

If you said things you throw away, you’d be right. If you also said items that were picked up around the Southwest neighborhood, you’d be even more right!

On a cold, windy April morning, a dozen neighbors banded together and helped to beautify the neighborhood by spending two hours picking up trash—26 bags of trash (and one tire) to be exact! The day was quite successful, and the various teams covered 85 percent of their targeted areas. A pair of volunteers even assisted Amidon Bowen in cleaning up inside the school by washing walls and prepping rooms to be painted.

The idea of a Southwest neighborhood cleanup was created by Katelynd Mahoney, Stephen Anderson, and Joseph Porcelli after the three attended the Ward 6 cleanup day put on by the Mayor’s Office the week before. Knowing that the area would soon draw thousands for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival fireworks, the team set out to use various social media tools to gather a group over the next week. They received a lot of help from various businesses and groups in Southwest who spread the word over Twitter and Facebook. The group also utilized the neighbor networking website Nextdoor.com.

The entire group of neighbors met afterward at Cantina Marina to defrost and discuss how to make this project even better for the next time. Many neighbors spoke about how they didn’t realize all of the trash that was around their community before the cleanup day. Everyone agreed that it should be more than a once a year opportunity, and it was suggested that a group try to come together quarterly.

The next Southwest cleanup will take place on May 23 and the group will meet just outside Safeway!

By: Katelynd Mahoney
SWNA District 1 Representative

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photo caption: The team at Cantina Marina after the cleanup.

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photo caption: Some of the volunteers at Cantina Marina.

 

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photo caption: Even the dogs of the neighborhood wanted to lend a paw!

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photo caption: Selfie with all the findings.

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photo caption: A tire and one of the bags of trash from the Duck Pond.

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photo caption: Discarded cigarettes found around the Duck Pond.

 

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