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Volunteers spruce up Bensonhurst

Hundreds of South Brooklyn residents joined forces to help clean up Bensonhurst this past Sunday, September 23.

For the sixth year in a row, Councilmember David Greenfield, Assemblymember William Colton and Colton’s youth group coalition have endeavored to make Bensonhurst spotless—or as close to spotless as possible—by coordinating a cleanup in Seth Low Park, on Kings Highway from McDonald Avenue to Stillwell Avenue, and along Bay Parkway from 65th Street to 78th Street.

In the last two years, however, Colton and Greenfield’s efforts have attracted community attention and increased participation exponentially. “There’s a tremendous number of kids from different schools this year,” said Mark Treyger, community relations director of the 47th Assembly District and a teacher at New Utrecht High School.

Volunteers hailed from Our Lady of Grace Teen Group, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Midwood High School’s Key Club, Brooklyn Technical High School’s Key and Red Cross clubs, John Dewey’s Key Club, Edward R. Murrow’s Key Club, Bensonhurst Cluster Youth Ministry, and the United Chinese Association of Brooklyn.

“We plan to have another 200 or more people volunteering later on in the day in addition to the ones we have now,” Colton stated prior to the start of the cleanup.

Colton emphasized the significance of living in a clean community and, more importantly, raising awareness of the neighborhood’s need for an intermittent “tidying.”

“There is no better civics lesson for our young people than to take ownership of their neighborhood by keeping it clean for all residents to enjoy,” he added.

Colton’s “civics lesson” has unquestionably reached Bensonhurst’s youth. “I’ve been doing this for two years,” said Albert Tong, a Bensonhurst resident. “It’s a really nice help; you see people coming from all over the neighborhood to pitch in.”

After a brief gathering in front of Colton’s office on Kings Highway between West 12th and West 13th Streets, teams dispersed throughout the neighborhood and flocked to their respective stations, cleaning the streets for three hours.

“I am so proud to be a part of this important effort to revitalize our neighborhood with the help of Assemblyman Colton, Councilman Greenfield, and my friends,” said Priscilla Consolo, activist and college student who helped recruit volunteers for the effort.

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