The Friends of RIA (FoRIA) spent the morning of St. Patrick’s Day going into action to show that they care on not only redeveloping Rhode Island Ave NE but also that they want it to be somewhere they are proud of. Thanks to FoRIA’s Streetscape Committee, Kyle Todd, for leading this initiative and pulling off a very successful event. See Todd’s recap below and photos!
We had over 40 people show up! I lost count of how many bags we filled; we used all of DPW’s yellow bags, plus we used many large bags contributed by other people.
Candidates were out in force: Tim Day, Drew Hubbard, Peter Shapiro, Frank Wilds, and Kenyan McDuffie. Council Chair, Kwame Brown, not only sent several folks from his campaign, but sent a crew from Career Path DC (not included in the count). The McDuffie campaign brought bottled water, bananas, and chips for the volunteers, in addition to extra bags and disposable gloves.
There was agreement on all fronts that doing this once a month as a standing commitment is a good thing.
Great job, FoRIA!! Keep up the great work!
5 thoughts on “FoRIA Cleans Up The Avenue!”
This is great, but why didn’t they send a crew to pick up the bags? They are still out there. Kwame, you can do much better than this! Does this matter? Well, at the intersection of 18th & RIA several bags were left making it hard to get by on the sidewalk on foot and bike. Those bags were close to the bus stop making it unpleasant for people who need to use that form of transportation to wait for their ride. In most neighborhood street cleaning events, the refuse is usually disposed of immediately. Can this be the case in future RIA cleanups? That would help a great deal. BTW, many of those Ward 5 candidates added extra campaign signs at the interestion of 20th & RIA as a result. My qualm about the 2-legged postings that come up from the ground is that they are so low that little children can be hurt by them. With these addiitional signs I think Wilds and McDuffie have both exceeded the legal campaign posting limit.
Hey Woodie, sorry I missed talking to you on Saturday during the cleanup. Good point about the bag placement. We’ll make sure and keep them off the sidewalk and away from bus stops next time – this was our very first event, so we’re still ironing out the kinks. DPW should be picking them all up today. They were good enough to provide us will tools and bags, and I know they will take care of picking up the bags quickly today, but I’ll call right now to make sure. Council Member Brown was not responsible for scheduling the pick-up, he was just good enough to send folks to help us do the work.
Look forward to seeing you next time!
Thanks for responding. In the next cleanup go round scheduled for next month, can you expand the cleanup area? I also noticed somebody placed a yellow trash bag at the corner of 17th & RIA near the city trash container in front of the Midas shop. As you go east beyond South Dakota toward Eastern Avenue, the streets are also dirty. Ditto for going west beyond 18th. I think the green team went from 17th & RIA and possibly further west in their weekly cleanup when they were funded by Great Streets money about 8 months ago. Since we don’t have a Council member Kwame’s the only one we can contact on these issues.
Woodie, we’d love to expand the area. Like I mentioned earlier, this was our first go-round, and we had no idea how many volunteers would actually show up. It was a fantastic turnout, and we fully intend to keep up the momentum. As you probably already heard me mention already, we are concentrating on the areas with the most potential to attract new community-oriented businesses, such as all the vacant storefronts between 20th and S. Dakota. But we’ll definitely to expand to other areas as we go along – just remember that we are ALL volunteers with full-time jobs, and there are only so many hours in the day.
It sounds like you have some great ideas – how ’bout you commit to head up the teams that take on those areas? I can set you up with all the contacts at DPW, and give you a run-through on ordering the rakes, shovels, and bags. This whole project is about community ownership, after all. Anybody with as strong a conviction as you seem to have about the way things should be done, well, you need to be doin’ some organizing, my friend!
One of my neighbors contacted Kwame Brown’s office this morning about the trash still left out. They said the marathon delayed the pick up by DPW and they will make sure this does not happen in the future. They said there is another cleanup of RIA scheduled for next month. They also said the trash at the intersection of 18th & RIA should not have been placed on the sidewalk but on the grass in front of Ronnie’s Transmission for pickup. They will contact the organizers immediately about this.
From the photo, even the owner of WeGrow, the hydroponic supply store for Marijuana growers, participated in the cleanup. When is this store opening? The sign says “coming soon!”