Wayne State and Detroit-based corporation Midtown Detroit, Inc. will collaborate on April 22 in an effort to clean up midtown neighborhoods with "Midtown Community Cleanup."
According to the event description, the goal of the cleanup is to “clean and beautify Midtown one block at a time and make Detroit a more beautiful city in which to live, work, learn and play.”
Volunteers will work to pick up garbage, plant vegetation in barren areas and cover offensive graffiti, as well as other activities that will be decided at the time up the cleanup.
“We’re expecting about 75 people to show up, based on our preregistration numbers,” said Elise Fields, senior program director for MDI. “But we’re sending out e-newsletters, making phone calls and doing last minute memos to try and get more. We usually have close to a hundred volunteers.”
She said that upon arriving, volunteers will be split into groups of either five or six, where they will be assigned to a supervisor and given a map marked with specific goals for them to accomplish.
The cleanup will focus in the midtown, TechTown and New Center neighborhoods.
“We really want to get the community together, get them involved with each other and with where they live,” Fields said. “It’s a joint effort to pretty up the midtown area, and it’s a great kickoff for the spring season.”
She also said this cleanup is the ninth since she has been working for MDI, and that the event is becoming tradition for both the company and the city.
“It’s really tradition at this point,” Fields said. “We’re a nonprofit, so most of our funding comes from the city. Every mayoral administration has called the cleanup something different, but they’ve been helping us organize it for at least a decade.”
Computer science major Cora Pickering said that she has participated in the last two cleanups.
“I like knowing that I’m making an actual difference,” Pickering said. “The work is hard but the reward feels awesome.”
Art major Jared Phillis said he plans to participate in the cleanup for the experience of volunteering with friends.
“It’s fun because you’re with a bunch of people,” he said. “Yeah you sweat and stuff, but you’re not the only one, and you’re doing good things.”
Fields said MDI was helping with the cleanup, first and foremost, to bring the community together.
“Everyone wants clean neighborhoods,” Fields said. “Everyone takes pride in their area. When we work together, we can work towards a larger goal much easier.”
Volunteer check-in begins at 8 a.m. on the first floor of the Welcome Center. Lunch will be provided at the end of the volunteer day. A limited amount of street parking is available, as well as parking in Structure 6.
The cleanup will take place rain or shine. Old clothes are recommended. To register for the cleanup, please visit midtowndetroitinc.org.