You might be amazed when you see how many folks came out to help clean up SE Division Street! Take a look …
Lori Boisen talks with some of the 40 volunteers who came for the “Day of Service” neighborhood clean up event.
Story and photos by David F. Ashton
While many people went to work as usual on January 21, others celebrated the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday by participating in a “Day of Service” event put on by the Division-Midway Alliance for Community Improvement.
According to one of the coordinators, Lori Boisen of Advertise in the Bag, the Division-Midway Alliance is part of the City of Portland’s Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative that serves along SE Division Street from 117th to 148th Avenues.
Tammi Hawkins makes sure all the teams have the information, and the supplies, that they’ll need.
“Everyone’s gathered here today at Casa del Sol for our trash cleanup, graffiti removal and cleaning out storm drains,” Hawkins said.
“The area we’re focusing on is along SE Division Street, between SE 135th to SE 148th Avenue,” Hawkins added. “We have many volunteers from the Mid-County Foot Patrol here, because we cover this area.
“And, because the Division-Midway Alliance has, as one of their mission statements, ‘To help improve safety and livability in the neighborhood’, we’re all volunteering together today.”
At the cleanup, Centennial Community Association President Tom Lewis talks with Oregon House Representative District 47 Jessica Vega Pederson (D).
Boysen added, “Doing this helps us fulfill the image of having a healthy and vibrant neighborhood, toward which we’re working.”
Oregon House Representative District 47 Jessica Vega Pederson (D) was one of the many volunteers at the event.
“I think it’s great that Martin Luther King Jr. Day is also a ‘Day of Service’,” Vega Pederson told East Portland News. “I’m not in Salem today, because this is a federal holiday. And, I’m here, because this is an excellent way for people to come together and do something good for their community.”
Volunteers, ready with trash bags and graffiti removal buckets, prepare to hit the street.
Young Matthew Nixon appears to take great delight in “snagging and bagging” the litter he finds along SE Division Street. [He’s also seen on our Front Page!]
The volunteers fanned out on, and also off, SE Division Street – traveling as far north as SE Lincoln Street, and as far south as SE Clinton Street.
“The volunteers energetically removed 1,200 pounds of garbage, cleaned storm drains, and removed graffiti in the rights of way,” Boysen later reported.
Picking and cleaning, volunteers work their way along SE Division Street in outer East Portland.
“Santiago, at Casa del Sol was most gracious and accommodating to the group,” Boisen continued. “The food was amazing; three people thanked us for having the event there, because they discovered a new neighborhood restaurant!”
She also thanked the Les Schwab and Firestone Tire stores for donating their dumpster space to the cause. “It was a truly amazing day; we’re thankful for everyone’s help. We look forward to April’s cleanup event.”
In addition to helping improve their neighborhood, volunteers are treated to what they describe as a delicious lunch at Casa del Sol.
© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News