Sunday, May 18, 2014

Our First Neighborhood Cleanup - What Next?

I've just filed the official report with Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania. The first ever Academy Neighborhood Cleanup, held on Saturday, May 17th, had 22 volunteers, who collected 23 large bags of trash. We also picked up one tire and one old television set. Best of all, we had fun and got to meet some of our neighbors.

There are also some code violations that are going to be reported to the city, but I'd rather not detail them here. City officials have assured us that the violations we call in will be dealt with swiftly, so hopefully that actually happens.

If you spent time Saturday cleaning THANK YOU! Working together we accomplished a lot. I also need to thank the folks at Penn Dot for supplying us with gloves and bags, and for allowing us to use a Penn Dot dumpster to get rid of all of the trash. 

Ideas for next time: 

1. An earlier date. There is a weekend, usually at the end of April, that is kind of known as "cleanup weekend". There were a number of events in Erie that weekend, generally coinciding with Earth Day. I didn't know that weekend was the unofficial "cleanup weekend" when I scheduled ours for May 17th. I mean, everything worked out pretty well, except for the fact that some of the large items people left out during Erie's "large item pickup" have been sitting there since that program ended. And actually, as I write this, they are still sitting there, hopefully to be dealt with early this week. 

2. A meeting place to start the event and a meeting place after. It was suggested to me that everyone get together to start the event, so everyone can meet and pick up their supplies. I think this would be a great way to build camaraderie. A small picnic, or at least coffee and donuts for everyone who volunteered, would be nice to have afterwards as well.

3. Beautification. The cleanup was great, but it would be nice to have a beautification aspect to cleanup day. This would be something we could talk about at meetings before next year's cleanup. 

4. Let people know earlier. Hey, everyone! We're having a neighborhood cleanup Saturday, April 25th, 2015!

5. Actually wear the bright orange safety vests Penn Dot gave us. Because we weren't cleaning along a highway, I thought we weren't supposed to wear them. As my group worked its way down E. 30th, I realized we really were pretty close to traffic. Also, one of the goals of the cleanup was to have a PRESENCE and it is impossible to miss anyone wearing one of those vests! I have a stash of them, ready for next year.

Once again, I'd like to thank the people who organized their friends and neighbors on their block for the leadership they exhibited. Our neighborhood is a better place today.  


  1. Way to go Academy neighborhood association. Had fun meeting you all Saturday and thanks to the friends and neighbors who cleaned our street, it looks great

  2. Glad we had a positive impact. Most of all, I hope people had fun during the cleanup as well.

  3. I'm adding this here so I remember it for next year... We need to get the local schools involved, if we can. Just a "note to self".