Once again, students from several high schools across Brooklyn converged on Bensonhurst to help bring about “a more beautiful neighborhood and city.”
On Saturday, November 22, Assemblymember William Colton and Councilmember Mark Treyger led an army of nearly 250 students to clean a stretch of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach in a collaborative effort along 86th Street and Bath Avenue from 25th to 14th Avenue and Bay Parkway from 86th Street to Shore Parkway.
The local activists swept, collected litter and distributed flyers throughout the neighborhoods to inform both business and home owners of the importance of keeping a sanitary community.
Volunteers included students from District 9 High School, New Utrecht High School, Midwood High School, Brooklyn Technical High School, Edward R. Murrow High School, James Madison High School, Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School, John Dewey High School and New York University’s College Cohorts Program. The Department of Sanitation also played a part, lending gloves, tools and trash bags to the local youth.
The neighborhood cleanup was the latest installment of the “Speak-Up and Clean-Up” Campaign, started by Colton and the current executive director of “Speak-Up and Clean-Up.” The campaign is now in its third year and has seen 15 successful community clean-ups.
“There are countless benefits to having a clean community,” said Colton. “Clean streets and sidewalks help local small businesses owners, since they entice more people to shop in the neighborhood.”
However, it’s not all about improving the local economy: “Quality of life is a very important part of the neighborhood,” said Colton. “It’s not only a matter of less garbage but a matter of people’s attitudes towards each other. The climate of a neighborhood is very different when it is clean.”
“We have seen the positive impact that these cleanup events have had on our community these past few years, so I am thrilled that we [continued] the progress and momentum this weekend,” said Treyger about the volunteer work.
According to Colton, the clean-ups also initiate a domino effect: “When people see clean streets, or see someone cleaning the street, they are more likely to do their part as well.”
“Our young people are the heart and soul of this effort, and I think it’s fair to say that they’ve shown they are committed to helping make our community a better place,” said Consolo.
And the community improvement does not stop with the youth. Treyger, Colton and Councilmember Vincent Gentile recently announced that they have combined forces and allocated approximately $36,000 to fund additional sanitation services and trash receptacles in Bensonhurst and Coney Island.
“The importance of keeping the neighborhood clean has been engrained in all of us,” said Colton in conjunction with Treyger and Gentile, “It’s a priority and we’re making sure the priority becomes greater every chance we get.”