GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - With recent flooding along the Grand River, a Grand Rapids neighborhood is organizing and taking action.
Westside neighbors will come together Saturday for the fifth Westside Community Clean Up.
Residents are partnering with local businesses and area non-profits to recruit volunteers for the effort.
The neighborhood, already overflowing with trash from the long winter season, was affected by record water levels last weekend, flooding areas along the Fish Ladder and Ah-Nab-Awen Park.
Organizers had already planned to clean along the west side of the Grand River as part of this annual event, but will now broaden their efforts due to the floods.
The Westside Community Clean Up project is in need of volunteers to help with trash pickup and post-flood cleanup of more than 20 city blocks.
This is a great way for local businesses, non-profits, churches and members of the public sector to come together as a community and take care of Grand Rapids' Westside.
For details on how to become involved with the Westside Community Clean Up and to RSVP, text 'westside' to 71441.
People interested in volunteering for the Westside Community Clean Up are asked to meet at St. Mary's Catholic Church parking lot, 423 First St. NW, between Broadway and Turner avenues, at 8:45 a.m. on April 27.
Teams will work from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. along the river and city streets, cleaning up trash, and reporting graffiti and maintenance issues directly to the City of Grand Rapids through the GRCity 311 smartphone app.
Due to the volume of trash, the group is planning on taking a break for lunch and then reconvening in the afternoon from 2 p.m. until dusk to work on beautification projects of spreading mulch under the Bridge Street bridge, tending to the Westside's environmental rain gardens and painting over some of the graffiti.
The Volunteer Recognition lunch will be from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Broadway Bar, near Sixth Street and Broadway Avenue NW, where volunteers will be treated to lunch, hear from local leaders and receive giveaways from local businesses.
"Volunteers will be mobilized with everything they need for this three-hour power cleanup, which includes picking up trash along the Grand River and several high priority areas identified by the Michigan Department of Transportation, Grand Rapids Streets and Sanitation, and Kent County Road Commission," said Erica Curry VanEe, co-founder and organizer of the West Side Community Clean Up. "This event is organized by the community, for the community. It brings out the best in all who participate, and brings hope to all of us who have chosen to make the Westside our home."
The West Side Community Clean Up is part of a larger grass roots effort to invest in local neighborhood revitalization, beautification and economic development.
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