WEST PULLMAN — Far South Side residents with push brooms, trash-grabbing sticks and garbage bags turned out this weekend to spruce up their communities, part of a wider push to clean neighborhoods.
In the past two months, City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin and her team have worked to host eight community cleanups throughout the South Side.
“We want to do our service for the city. I care because I was born in Englewood and raised on the West Side, and I don’t take that for granted,” Conyears-Ervin said. “There is a saying that if you look better, you feel better, and that is the goal for this cleanup.”
In collaboration with Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) and Ald. Carrie Austin (34th), Saturday’s cleanup occurred in two locations: the Greater Cannan Church in West Pullman and Sunrise Baptist Church in Homan Square.
“Everyone taking time out of their day to come out to help our community, their community, means a lot to us,” Beale said. “It’s all of us coming together to make a difference. Don’t take it for granted because every little bit counts.”
With more than 20 community members present, the group picked up trash and swept up lots along 119th Street.
Present were the Green Gang organization, an environmental group of volunteers located in Chicago that works to beautify and improve the “environmental quality” of communities. The Green Gang has hosted more than eight cleanups, taking time after work or during the day to beautify neighborhoods.
“We were invited by the city treasurer and it was an opportunity for us to come out and give a lending hand,” said Amere Washington, a member of the Green Gang. “Whether we live here or not, this is our city. It’s beautiful, despite what others may think.”
For residents like Traeca Booker, who participates in community cleanups “whenever and wherever she can,” it was a way to help out her community and show people care.
“I came out today because I’m part of the community. I’m part of the Roseland community, and with everything that is going on, I felt the need to come out here and show that there are people concerned about their community,” Booker said.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.