Because Earth Day falls on the Christian holiday “Good Friday” most organizations chose to hold their events on Saturday April 16th. This includes the Friends of the Park which organized clean ups of many Chicago Parks and I went to Fuller Park at 45th and Princeton to help them. Unfortunately, when I showed up last Saturday I was told no clean up was scheduled there.
I knew that the Union Avenue Methodist Church had a Clean and Green event that morning along Union Avenue and included Graham Public School. Ray Cary had coordinated with the 11th Ward Office and had industrial strength garbage bags, large shovels and push brooms to make the work easier.
I was able to join them just as they were starting and the drizzle stopped, but it was still very cold and damp. There were a handful of us going up the street and some stayed behind to clean up the alley and side street around the Church. We focused on larger trash like glass bottles, cans, and plastic trash.
When we got to the school grounds it was cleaner than we expected with only a few pieces of trash to collect and started back to the Church on the other side of the street.
At the intersection of 44th & Union is a boarded up building that is a hang out for drinking where we picked up many bottles, cans, and other trash there. We worked our way around to the alley and picked up dozens of empty beer cans, and liquor bottles behind the garage.
Next, we cleaned up a vacant lot on Lowe and filled up a city trash can with leaves that were blocking a sewer drain across the street from the Church. Finally, we walked back to the Church for some hot coffee and to warm up.
Eight down and 42 more to go!