This past weekend I had the privilege of helping kick off the Clean Sweep Neighborhood Cleanup effort in the Melrose-Rugby and Melrose-Loudon neighborhoods. At 6:30 on Saturday morning, I got to thank the men and women from Solid Waste Management, Stormwater, and other City divisions and departments, knowing they had a hard day’s work ahead of them. For me, this event exemplified what can be achieved when we combine our efforts.
Workers, Volunteers, Community
Again, I had the easy part – approve spending for materials, overtime, and supplies and wish them well. Our community engagement and public communications folks assisted in preparing the promotional materials, placed the notice on our website, and posted it to our various social media outlets. The Assistant City Manager and Public Works Department Director helped coordinate the efforts. The Police Department, Code Enforcement, and Solid Waste Management team canvassed the neighborhoods before the event distributing notice of the cleanup and, of course, helped with the celebratory lunch later in the day.
The Solid Waste and Stormwater workers operated the equipment – the trucks, trailers, and knucklebooms needed to haul away what residents and volunteers had set out. Their leader, Jeffrey Powell, who grew up in the neighborhood, envisioned the clean-up months ago, organized it, promoted it through media interviews and, of course, encouraged his workers throughout the day. Personnel from Fleet Management ensured all the equipment was ready for the event and provided support throughout the day. The folks at Clean Valley Council helped in securing and registering volunteers.
These were just some of the folks involved. Support and sponsorship was also provided by the Fire-EMS Department, the Sheriff’s Office, Neighborhood Services, Code Enforcement, Lead Safe, Roanoke Public Libraries, Social Services, Kroger, Carilion Clinic, WSLS 10, and the Western Virginia Water Authority. And if that weren’t enough, the Mayor and Council members kicked in and helped as well. How’s that for an all-out community event!
Of course, while this was going on, hundreds more volunteers and sponsors were downtown preparing to welcome the latest edition of the Deschutes Street Pub, which attracted thousands to downtown to celebrate the products of one of our newest business partners, and to raise funds for Bradley Free Clinic, Roanoke Outside Foundation, Roanoke Parks and Recreation, and The Spot of Kirk. Last year the event raised over $80,000 for various charitable groups.
What a Great Place
This is why Roanoke is a great place! People coming together to get done what needs to get done, and to have fun while doing it.
- Bob Cowell