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‘Clean Sweep’ project gears up for second summer of neighborhood clean-ups

Mayor Lyda Krewson stands with community members at the announcement for the 2018 Clean Up campaign.  The program will kick off this month and will aim at cleaning up four neighborhoods in St. Louis.
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

A volunteer effort to clean up north St. Louis neighborhoods is getting a big lift from local construction companies.

Better Family Life began the “Clean Sweep” program last summer to help pick up trash and help revitalize certain areas in the city and St. Louis County. The non-profit and the Regional Business Council announced on Tuesday this summer’s effort will include a dozen construction companies to knock down vacant buildings and pick up large debris.

The goal this summer will be to clean up the Hamilton Heights, Wells-Goodfellow, JeffVanderLou, Penrose, Kingsbury and Walnut Park neighborhoods.

“We call Clean Sweep bringing new life to ground zero,” said James Clark, the vice president for Community Life at Better Family Life. “Those are places to begin real tangible programs.”

Better Family Life is also asking for volunteers' help over the four clean-up weekends, one each month through August. Some of the tasks include trash pickup and reducing the amount of illegal dumping.

Kathy Osborn, the president and CEO of the Regional Business Council, said she expects many of the contractors will provide help even after the summer is over.

“I feel confident that we’ve got people who will do this again whether that's next summer or this fall,” Osborn said. “I think there are other companies who will join us and that’s part of today as well.”

The clean-up events will take place on four Saturdays:

  • May 19: Better Family Life, 5415 Page Blvd. (Hamilton Heights and Wells-Goodfellow neighborhoods)
  • June 30: St. Teresa and Bridget’s Catholic Church, 2401 N. Grand Blvd. (JeffVanderLou neighborhood)
  • July 28: North Side Community School, 3033 N. Euclid Ave. (Penrose and Kingsbury neighborhoods)
  • Aug. 25: site to be announced (Walnut Park neighborhood)

Mayor Lyda Krewson says the weekend clean-ups will help revitalize and strengthen neighborhoods.
“In the city of St. Louis there are 129,000 parcels, 29,000 of them are either vacant lots or vacant buildings,” Mayor Lyda Krewson said. “Nothing good happens in a vacant building. If you live on a block with one vacant building or two — or three — or four — or five, your quality of life is so negatively affected.”

Follow Chad on Twitter @iamcdavis

Chad is a general assignment reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.