Division Street spruce-up nets half-ton of trash

That’s not all the volunteers did! See how their efforts also paid off as they gave this street a good spring cleaning – in pouring rain …

Volunteers come in and sign releases to participate in this Division Midway Alliance-sponsored clean up event.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The weather on the day scheduled organizers with the Division Midway Alliance for Community Improvement (DMA) for their spring clean-up had been expected to be dry on March 29. But instead, strong south wind blew rain almost sideways as volunteers came in to their office.

DMA District Manager Lori Boisen answers volunteers’ questions about their clean-up event.

“I’m happy, and a little surprised, to see so many volunteers here today,” said DMA District Manager Lori Boisen, as she accepted the volunteers’ releases.

“Because of all of their efforts this community will look different – better – than it did before today,” Boisen told East Portland News. “We’ve been doing this for two years now, and neighbors say we are making a real difference here.”

Powellhurst Gilbert neighbor Thomas Barnes provides graffiti cleaning and painting instructions, transforming volunteers into Certified Graffiti Removal Specialists.

Before heading out to pick up trash and remove graffiti, all of the volunteers took a Graffiti Removal Training course provided by Certified Graffiti Removal Specialist Thomas Barnes.

“Remember, do not, under any circumstances, try to clean up street signs, like ‘stop’ signs!” Barnes reminded the group as part of their instruction. “Doing so will cause the reflective coating to smear and come off – and it will do more damage than good.”

Pouring rain and wind doesn’t stop volunteer Ana Inclan of Craft 3 from picking up trash.

Then, pulling up the hoods on their rain coats, 37 hearty volunteers braved the blustery weather as they headed out to clean up SE Division Street, from SE 117th east to 148th Avenues.

Within two hours, volunteers removed 1,000 pounds of litter and trash, and cleaned or painted out 25 separate graffiti markings in the area, Boisen later reported.

These are some of the folks who help clean up SE Division Street – in the pouring rain.

“We need everyone’s help,” Boisen said. “It is easy to report graffiti if you see it in your neighborhood. Call 503-823-4824 and leave a message with the location information and your contact information.”

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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