Spring Cleanup Competition Kicks Off

| April 23, 2012 | 0 Comments
April 21, 2012

Mayor Rawlings-Blake Joins Thousands Of Residents In Annual Spring Cleanup

First Day of Clean Community Competition

Mayor visits five Power In Dirt sites, where residents are converting vacant lots into green space.

Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake visited sites across the city to work with and thank residents and corporate sponsors taking part in Baltimore’s annual Spring Cleanup. The Mayor also visited locations where residents are turning blighted vacant lots into community gardens and neighborhood parks as part of the Power In Dirt initiative. Members of over 70 community groups also started their work as part of the Clean Community Competition.

This year, over 200 community organizations and 5,830 volunteers have signed up to participate in the Spring Cleanup. The Mayor’s Cleanups started in 2000 with volunteers removing 2,500 tons of debris from their neighborhoods. Since then, nearly 90,000 tons of debris have been removed in the annual event.

“We are grateful for the thousands of residents taking their time this weekend to make their neighborhoods cleaner and stronger,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “Together, we are planting seeds to grow our city again. Today, everyone can see that when you cut through all the loud cynicism, there are hundreds of thousands of quiet families who want nothing more than to lift-up our neighborhoods and grow our city.”

Launched in August 2011, Power in Dirt is the City’s first comprehensive plan to specifically address vacant lots by engaging residents and organizations in their sustainable revitalization. Power in Dirt recognizes and builds from existing successful efforts in the city to revitalize vacant lots. To date, over 400 once-vacant lots have been adopted by residents and community organizations. These new open spaces serve residents in numerous ways—as spaces to gather, to appreciate art, to grow food, to play sports, to just sit and enjoy relief from the built environment of concrete. For more information, visit www.powerindirt.com.

The Clean Community Competition challenges communities throughout Baltimore to get involved in cleaning up their neighborhoods on a daily basis. Communities will be judged on cleaning efforts that include an overall increase in recycling tonnage, community-wide use of trash cans with lids, decreases in alley and street cleaning service requests, among others. Extra points will be awarded for adopting vacant lots through the Power In Dirt initiative and for installing clean-themed storm drain stencils.

A judging committee will assess improvements and overall cleanliness in October, and the winners will be announced at the kickoff of the Mayor’s Fall Cleanup on October 27. Neighborhoods in each of four sections of the City will compete for first place prizes of $5,000. Second place finishers will win $1,000.

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Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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