Savanah Brooks, a Near West Side Partners Ambassador, traversed all seven neighborhoods in the Near West Side to hang over 1500 door hangers to recruit volunteers for the cleanup. She thinks that the cleanup provided families with a chance to get outdoors and get active and see neighbors and friends face to face, which is something most have not been able to do due to the pandemic. She thinks that the cleanup will give residents of the community a safe space to live, work, and play for years to come.
Duane Stokes-Henderson, another Near West Side Partners Ambassador, also passed out flyers to spread awareness for the cleanup. On the day of the cleanup, he was in charge of transporting equipment to volunteers and helping guide them to the areas that needed cleaning the most. He stated that the cleanup was one of the first events Near West Side Partners hosted since the pandemic so it was a good way to communicate to the community that Near West Side Partners was ready to come back and continue serving the community. He also said that the long-term effect of the community cleanup is that it will keep the community cleaner and give residents a chance to continue to connect with one another.
Some volunteers started at Near West Side favorite Pete’s Pop to focus on Vliet street and the surrounding area.
Michael S Maistelman, an attorney for VK Citgo, a gas station, grocery store, and convenience store operator throughout Milwaukee, sponsored the cleanup providing food and water into the cleanup from his client. He wrote that the cleanup brings the community together for a common purpose, strengthening the group and community. He also stated that the long-term effects of the cleanup will be positive “as long as the group continues to participate regularly… If the community continues to take an active role in their neighborhoods, those neighborhoods will thrive and attract more people and investments from businesses.”
This is only the first of a series of cleanups to happen this spring, including the next one on May 8th. For more information on last weekend’s cleanup, here are a few articles:
You can also see more pictures of the event on our Facebook page.