Clean Upper Downtown Committee Report – January 2024

I have been living in One Lincoln Park (OLP) now for 15 years and downtown has always experienced large contrasts. The fun of living downtown with great restaurants and lots of entertainment as well as the challenging side of poverty, crime, and homelessness. While some aspects of that have long been with us our neighborhoods are becoming ever more unrecognizable. The neighborhood was filled with empty lots and a small number of unhoused people now is filled with apartment buildings with the elegance of big box stores, blocks of tent cities, and trash galore. The neighborhood has changed and the challenges are immense.

In the early part of this year Lisa Pope and Rob Squire came to One Lincoln Park (OLP) and talked to us about the work  of UpDoNA and would folks from our building be interested in joining. They must have been convincing because 34 of us have joined.

Of the many opportunities UpDoNA offers to be of service, my initial reaction to trash collecting was not the most appealing one. But with a gentle push and lots of help from Carolyn Benton and Kristen Deak we held our first trash pickup September 16. We had about 14 folks show up and my collecting partner Bob Lemon and I came back with multiple bags of trash and good feelings about making a small contribution to reclaiming our neighborhood.

We have continued our monthly trash collection effort and it has grown to 21 good Samaritans at our last event in November. It has become something of a social event as folks pair up with people they did not know and it is really nice to look out our windows and see clean streets. The many bags of trash we have collected are proof of our success. And yes there will be another mountain of trash next month but we are doing something to create the neighborhood we want to live in. We have become a part of the neighborhood and not just observers.

As a footnote, I often grab my Nifty Nabber when I go for a walk and pick up a bag of trash. I hate to admit it but it has become something of a hobby and wanting  my streets to be clean has become important. I hear some other folks have started doing the same thing when they walk their dog or go for a walk.

So, join us in the joy of collecting trash. Our next session, at the Spire and One Lincoln Park, is Saturday December 2nd starting at 9:00AM.


Thumbnail attribution – Kristen Deak

Thumbnail attribution – Kristen Deak

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