By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
NEWKIRK — The 100 Block of North Main Street in Newkirk is almost a different landscape, thanks to the cleaning efforts of a group of volunteers who spent Saturday morning, Oct. 3 giving the area a makeover.
Newkirk Main Street Director Alyssa McCleery is thrilled with the results.
“I think it went fantastic. We had at least 16 volunteers, and everybody worked hard,” she said. “I am very appreciative of the volunteers that donated their time on Saturday.”
The event was organized only days prior to the event, but McCleery had been working with other groups for the project. The date was finally chosen, and Newkirk Main Street organized the event, as there was much dirt along the street and sidewalks, and weeds growing in the cracks.
They felt it was a worthwhile project that would be beneficial to the Downtown district.
“It needed to be done, and I also had been approached by individual citizens,” McCleery said.
Newkirk Main Street provided plenty of yard tools for the volunteers, although many brought their own, including shovels, hoes and brooms. Meeting at the Newkirk Main Street office at 9 a.m., they set to work cleaning the block, which included hoeing out weeds from the sidewalks and street, sweeping the dirt along the block, mowing and cleaning out the pocket parks at the intersections of Sixth Street and Seventh Street. Mario Venegas, owner of Finders Keepers antique store, removed the dirt after it was swept.
“Everyone weeded and trimmed, swept the dirt away from the curb,” she said. “Mario hauled away two loads of dirt, and half a load of trash.”
The group focused only along the 100 Block of North Main Street and in front of Equity Bank, and there are currently no plans to do any more, as South Main Street is much cleaner, she said.
There are many benefits to the hard work that morning, as it gives a fresh, new look to the district, and it is hoped that it will inspire more people to help keep it clean.
“I’m hoping that it will continue throughout the community, and it will inspire others, whether it be their own buildings, just going out and sweeping the sidewalks, sweeping the curbs,” she said.
It also brings a new beauty Downtown, which may in turn inspire people to stop when driving through, and help keep Downtown alive.
“It just makes it look like we care. Doing simple things such as weeding sidewalks and cleaning the curbline shows we have pride in the community,” McCleery said. “That makes it feel welcoming. It makes it feel like a place where people would want to visit.”